Striving to tackle loneliness, keep in touch and seek opinions

We have been trying to tackle loneliness and keep in touch with people and families who are tenants by having conversations over the phone instead of our usual annual tenant visit to our estates.

Despite Coronavirus and the resulting restrictions, we are finding different ways to keep in touch.

Dylan Thomas, our Community Involvement Manager who is responsible for managing this scheme as well as a number of other community activities and projects, said:

“We usually choose to visit our tenants in the areas where they live in Gwynedd and beyond in North Wales. During these visits, we chat with tenants, get feedback on our services and make sure we stay in touch.”

Due to Coronavirus and guidance and health and safety, it was not possible to carry out face to face visits this year.

Dylan Thomas added:

“Getting on the phone and having an informal chat has been a big part of our work this year. Our customers are at the heart of our work. It is therefore important that we listen to our customers and give them the opportunity to give their views and influence and shape our services. This is why we were determined to continue with our virtual visits and have these conversations with our tenants over the phone. We also thought this was a way of trying to tackle the loneliness people living alone are feeling.

Sarah Schofield, our Director of Customers and Communities, said:

“As a Director, having the opportunity to chat with our tenants and customers is a valuable opportunity for me, so I was pleased to be one of those who took part in these phone calls.

“This annual plan is a great opportunity for all our staff to have a chat with our tenants and to remind our staff why we are here, to serve our tenants and our customers.

“We received great feedback from the phone calls during lockdown from our tenants who were glad of the company and the chat during a lonely period so we wanted to use the virtual tenant visit events to make these courtesy calls once again. ”

Adra was recognised for their work in contacting vulnerable tenants and people over 70 years of age during the lockdown and receiving an Higher Level in Customer Service Excellence.

Sarah Schofield added:

“I was very proud of this award as our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We respect, value and listen to our customers, and this is one scheme that contributes to that and the accreditation shows just that.”

During the lockdown, a number of Adra’s staff contacted tenants and vulnerable customers on a weekly basis, as well as tenants over 70 to see if they were alright and to have a chat to tackle loneliness and offer assistance with shopping, fetching prescription etc. Feedback on this was very positive from customers who appreciated the contact during what was a difficult, emotionally challenging and sometimes lonely time.

As a result, we decided to use this format and phone tenants and hold the estate visit events virtual – encouraging different officers, managers, senior managers and directors to get involved to ask our tenants views and have a chat to tackle loneliness and gathering opinions and feedback.