Following the Government’s announcement of a new national lockdown across England from Thursday 5th November 2020, our response to COVID-19 continues to focus on customer and employee safety, whilst ensuring the delivery of front-line services for our customers.
Since the outbreak we have quickly established agile working across our offices and most teams continue to remain home-based. As we enter a second national lockdown, our construction sites will remain operational and our call centre, maintenance, repairs and lettings services will continue to operate, all in line with latest Government safety guidance.
Sales offices will be open for pre-booked appointments only and, in line with guidance, our independent living schemes will be subject to additional controls regarding visitors and we will reduce non-essential services in order to protect residents in these settings.
During this challenging time we are continuing to ensure we provide extra support to our customers in addition to our money advice, employment and skills programme, and in recent months we have held wellbeing calls with over 20,000 customers to ensure they are linked into local services or able to access the support they need directly from Orbit through our Better Days service.
Our social and environmental responsibility programme, and our excellent relationships with local partners, means that we continue to support the community response effort directly and have contributed almost £50,000 to support foodbank efforts to supply vulnerable and low-income households, alongside providing grants for local charities to improve their ICT infrastructure so that they can continue to operate.
Orbit remains in a strong financial position and has a healthy balance sheet. We also have good working relationships with our long-term investor partners.
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will continue to adapt our operations to follow all Government guidance. Our focus on customer safety, protecting employees and business resilience will remain.