COVID-19 created a number of issues for us that we have done our best to deal with.
Throughout the period, we have continued to take referrals into our services and have seen an increase in demand for safe accommodation in our domestic abuse service. In partnership with our Local Authority we have increased the number of accommodation units to try and meet this demand.
Throughout the period, we have continued to take referrals into our services and have seen an increase in demand for safe accommodation in our domestic abuse service
Becoming COVID-19 secure was critical so that staff could still take referrals and move people into our accommodation. Initially, like many organisations, we struggled to get the levels of PPE we needed. But we were lucky to receive a lot of support from the local business community. The Cooperative supermarket stepped in and donated a range of PPE so we could continue seeing our service users.
Local supermarkets and food banks have supported us with food, which we have been able to bag up and deliver directly to our service users.
We have seen an increase in levels of depression, mental health concerns and loneliness across our service users. To help manage this, we have increased our “safe and well” visits and distributed resource packs. Our priority has been to continue to offer support, both over the phone and face to face. At times we have been really stretched when staff have had to self-isolate. What has been great to see is that all staff have taken on additional tasks, covering other roles, when necessary.
Our priority has been to continue to offer support, both over the phone and face to face
At a senior management level, a huge amount of time has been taken up, interpreting and implementing all the government guidance, trying to balance continuity of service with managing our staff’s personal anxieties in relation to COVID-19. Yes, previous plans and timelines have had to take a back seat. But, looking back over the nine months, I am extremely proud of what the Valley House team has been able to achieve for the adults and children we support. We will emerge from lockdown even more resolute in our ambition to keep helping people take control of their lives and their own futures.
Lj Winterburn CEO, Valley House