New emergency response fund helps Wheatley customers in time of need

Vulnerable families across Scotland are receiving extra help to combat the coronavirus crisis by Scotland’s largest housing, care and property-management group.

Wheatley's Emergency Response Fund helped the Schofield family

Housing and care staff from Dumfries and Galloway to Fife, and Dumbarton to Leith, are tapping into Wheatley’s new £50,000 Emergency Response Fund. It is part of the Group’s response to alleviating hardship and isolation felt by some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and families in the country.

Over 135 people and families in financial hardship, who are ill or self isolating, have been supported by the fund so far, receiving help to buy essential items from nappies and mobile phone top-ups to a fridge, microwave and activity kits for children.

GHA tenant Natasha Schofield, pictured above, and her partner John, who is self-employed, but unable to work, got help from the fund through their housing officer Kate Day.

“Kate helped us with our gas and electricity bills and board games and an art set for my daughter Skye,” said Natasha. “It was brilliant. I didn’t even have to ask: the help was there straight away.”

In South Lanarkshire, supermarket vouchers were delivered to a breakfast club run by tenants of Wheatley’s property-management subsidiary, YourPlace. The club, which has 20 members, had been suspended because of the coronavirus crisis.

In Grangemouth, Wheatley Care staff provided people they work for with laminated tick-and-cross displays for their windows to indicate whether they needed help or not. In Edinburgh, a care colleague took large-print books to an elderly man in hospital, and a vulnerable Loretto tenant in Glasgow received a cooker.

A whole range of wraparound services, including fuel and benefits advice, are being delivered by Wheatley staff, some of them around the clock.

GHA tenant Betty Rooney thanked her Neighbourhood Environmental Team (NETs) manager Richard Hutton for volunteering to deliver vital medication to her every week. “To know there is someone I can rely on is a great help,” said Betty.

Cube Housing Association’s NETs are out and about keeping Glasgow communities clean and safe. Not only did they remove 12 tons of bulk uplift last week as part of fire-safety duties, they even managed to source an unusual light bulb for an elderly tenant in Wyndford.

Lorraine McLaren, Director of Wheatley Foundation, said: “So many of our customers are being hit hard by the crisis. Too many are in financial hardship and struggling to get by because they are ill or self isolating. The one-off payments from the Emergency Response Fund are much-needed support in their time of need.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2020