2021 began with severe restrictions on the services we could deliver because of Covid. Tenants had been fantastic at working with us throughout 2020 to make sure the most vulnerable people were well looked after, and at being very understanding about the restrictions on ‘normal’ services.
However, we were all very hopeful that vaccinations would start to let us recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Now unfortunately we near the end of 2021 and the start of a new year with uncertainty about the rising cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19 forcing us all to review our Christmas plans and our precious time with loved ones.
During the summer and autumn restrictions on movement and day to day life eased. This meant our contractors caught up on outstanding repairs, and in Blackwood we were so pleased to have that recovery plan.
We know of course that there are again major challenges with firms having enough tradespeople to complete our jobs and reduced access to parts and supplies. This challenge goes far beyond Blackwood and the news every day is full of how these challenges are affecting all sectors. So, while we have done the very best we can with our contractors we know that some tenants are experiencing longer waits or more visits than they used to.
This is frustrating for everyone and we want to thank tenants who have been affected for their patience and understanding.
We’re pleased that we have been able to deliver as much service as possible. So for example we have;
- Completed 146 adaptations to date, and will spend £710,000 this year, with grant from Scottish Government, on helping people live independently in their own home
- Our £1.3 million planned maintenance programme, including replacement bathrooms, kitchens, windows and doors, has brought major benefits for many tenants
- Our new Hit Squads are working through £280,000 worth of improvements across 33 estates nationwide
- We have invested £104,000 to complete the replacement of smoke and heat detectors to all our properties to keep tenants safe
- By the end of February 2022, we will have invested £193,000 providing WIFI in all our developments making sure that all tenants can be connected.
In 2020 our tenant scrutiny panel Team Blackwood established a virtual online group with representation from tenants nationwide. Team Blackwood has continued to meet regularly during this year, reviewing our performance, tested new technology and most recently members have co-produced our engagement plan for 2021-2024.
You can access our new Easy Read Customer Engagement Plan and a list of engagement activities with a wide range of subjects on our website at https://www.blackwoodgroup.org.uk/get-involved
If you would like to Get Involved fill in the short form on the customer engagement page on the website or ask one of our team how you can get involved.
We have already seen some changes in the weather with two recent storms so want to share some reminders about how you can keep yourself and your home warm and safe this winter.
We have attached a copy of our Winter Planning advice including all the key contacts you might need if the weather takes a turn for the worst! Download here.
From everyone in Blackwood we wish you a safe and happy Christmas with your friends and families and best wishes for the New Year.