Our priority remains the safety and security of our residents.
We’ve had a very busy autumn with lots of arrivals and departures. Many new residents have to quarantine so we’ve been providing essentials to help them over that period.
Please read and observe the information and advice that Steve regularly updates you with. Please wear facemasks in common areas, use the hand sanitisers we’ve provided and maintain distancing – your example to other residents is so helpful.
We’ve adapted just about all of our services to remote and distanced working and have made some improvements. We’re just launching a new residents’ portal, MyHome, to allow residents to report repairs more easily and look at their rent account. We’re doing viewings by WhatsApp. Aa all residents are aware hand sanitisers have been installed in all building and the cleaning regime is much enhanced.
Our maintenance service has now largely returned to normal – although every job is risk assessed to ensure the safety of residents and staff. We are completing a number of projects we started at the beginning of the year.
Every one of our schemes has a resident Warden and Deputy Warden. We appointed the Deputy Wardens in April to help during the pandemic, but we are now minded to make this a permanent feature of our service.
Warden are selected because they have experience in working with international students, and are, or have been, students themselves.
Primarily, the warden is there to deal with emergencies, particularly out of normal working hours. However, they can also help residents with advice and information during the pandemic and in extreme cases, when authorised by Zebra can help isolating and quarantining residents with basic supplies. In essence Wardens are responsible for maintaining a quiet and safe building for residents and their dependents.
If residents have an emergency, outside of normal working hours, they should contact their warden, who keeps a list of emergency telephone numbers and contacts. If a resident cannot locate their warden and it is an emergency requiring the police, ambulance or fire service then they should ring 999 and give details of the situation. The warden does not deal with maintenance issues, unless it is an emergency and it’s out of working hours. Wardens have full-time responsibilities of their own, and are not generally available at the residence during the day.
Our Wardens have been absolutely vital to us in maintaining our local service to residents and we are incredibly grateful to them.
We are now completing the refurbishment of the staircase at 34 Chalcot Crescent. The work includes updating lighting and fire detection equipment, replastering, redecorating and recarpeting.
As new residents move in this late autumn Steve is organising meetings with groups of residents at individual schemes in gardens, where we can all socially distance safely, and by Zoom where that is impractical. We want to find out what your concerns are so we might be able to help out, and what our priorities should be for the next 6 months.
Re-opening our office – we want to hear your view and ideas
It’s now clear that we can’t consider re-opening our office to visitors until next year although staff might occasionally work alone there, when they need to. We’ve got on well without an office and we’ve adapted. We believe that our service is as good as ever.
Residents have always said in every survey that their preferred mode of communication is electronic and experience since March has born this out. In common with many other organisations we’ve found that we can work as effectively at home as we can in the office.
Whilst we believe we need to have a physical office as our centre, we don’t believe we need to open it in the same way as it was open before because much of our work can be conducted both remotely and in a different way. MyHome, the new residents’ portal, which we are just launching, enables residents to manage their repairs and other services using web-based functions. We are looking at how our local presence at schemes can be improved through the way in which we use our staff, wardens, and deputy wardens.
This will be a subject for discussion at Steve’s meetings and if any residents have any thoughts and suggestions about this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a date for your calendars. We’ve scheduled Friday 25 June 2021 for the Annual Zebra Garden Party and Barbecue. To anyone new to this it’s a lovely evening in early summer with food and drink. Every resident is invited, as are staff, the Board, and contractors.