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Latest Coronavirus Update

We will continue to update residents regularly as to changes in our services.

Dear Residents

New Year, New Opportunities

I wish you all the best for 2021.  There is no doubt that 2020 was challenging and we can see that the early part of 2021 will be equally (if not more) challenging for some in our Stoll community, whether residents, staff or our many supporters.  However, every year also brings new opportunities – I was reminded of this recently when spotting a message scrawled on a pavement – ‘Stronger Together, but 2m apart’ which made me smile.  Sounds like a positive message that any member or veteran of the Armed Forces would write.  Thank you for your many positive messages of support and encouragement, they mean a great deal to the Stoll team and to me personally.  Whoever penned the first message also wrote ‘What are you grateful for today?’ which I thought very apt.  I now know why Ian Dury and The Blockheads ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ (1979) remains one of my all-time favourite songs….uplifting to hear the NHS listed as one of many reasons to be cheerful!

Looking forward

I trust like me you are looking forwards, beyond Covid and out into 2021, and with a positive frame of mind.  My primary focus for all of the staff is to continue to offer you the best possible support during this difficult time.  I accept (and I invite you to accept) that doing so will not always be easy (indeed, very far from it during lockdown) and I do need to level with you that we will not always be able to live up to your rightly high expectations.  Some ongoing collective patience will be required.  However, we will do our best and we will continue to have your very best interests at heart.  I am also determined in 2021 that we move forwards with (re)developing ‘resident voice’ and I will be talking shortly to the staff about ‘what one more thing can we do’ to improve matters. We always welcome hearing from you, but we know we can do better, and we are determined to do so.  I am also looking forwards to the spring and the summer, and to what we can do to collectively celebrate Armed Forces Day on 26th June.  Sunshine is apparently guaranteed!

Covid-19

For now, we are all required by law to stay at home and we can only leave for specified circumstances such as to buy necessities locally, to go to work if one cannot reasonably work from home and to exercise.  I find that the best help comes from the Government guidelines. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home#summary-what-you-can-and-cannot-do-during-the-national-lockdown. 

Please continue to wash your hands regularly and to wear a mask outside your home, and do not be offended please when Stoll staff remind you to wear a mask when talking to them.  We do this primarily for your safety, but also for theirs.  Thank you for playing your part in safeguarding our community.

Housing and Support

Our staff remain available to support you, but there are currently limits to what is possible.  For the time being and for your own safety, we will be conducting emergency housing repairs only, and these are:

  • Loss of heating or hot water;
  • Loss of electricity or electrical problems;
  • Loss of use of a toilet or washing facilities;
  • Serious leaks; and,
  • If you are unable to secure your property.

We will endeavour to conduct emergency repairs as soon as possible but please be patient if it takes longer than normal timescales.  You should continue to report other, non-essential repairs to us and we will note these and undertake them when it is safe to do so.  The Housing team will continue to respond to all tenancy and housing issues but this will be done virtually wherever possible.  This again is for your added safety.

The Housing and Support Teams will continue to be available during office hours; please call the main office number (02073852110) and press the relevant extension. If it is necessary to meet face to face, an appointment will be made to meet in one of our Covid-secure interview rooms. Please ensure that you wear a face covering if attending an appointment. We will be typically be unable to meet you otherwise. Unfortunately, the communal facilities across all sites cannot be accessed until further notice, and this includes the gym at Fulham. The laundry facilities at Fulham remain open (they provide an important hygiene service) and tokens can still be bought twice a week at the kiosk.  We will also continue to provide health and wellbeing activities online to residents. Staying active, physically and mentally, remains vital for us all, and I confess to loving the Army PT Corps’ motto Mens sana in corpore sano, which for the uninitiated means ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’.  I can see why PE with Joe Wicks, back daily live on Utube I believe, is now so widely acclaimed….

Final Thoughts

This is not the start to the New Year that we all wanted but there is now new hope brought about by the Government’s speedy roll-out of the vaccine (I was impressed to read that the UK has already vaccinated twice as many people as the rest of Europe combined). I look forward to rolling up my sleeve before too long!  I am increasingly confident that we will be able to get back to some form of normality later in the year.  In the meantime, and as ever, our staff are here for you.

Richard Gammage

Chief Executive