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Sheltered schemes

Following the latest government advice, we've introduced some measures to protect those living in our sheltered blocks.

We have over 1,600 tenants living in our sheltered schemes, including some of the most vulnerable members of our community. We're doing all that we can to protect our sheltered residents by taking action to avoid the spread of the disease, and to prevent it entering a scheme where it could result in fatalities amongst a large group of vulnerable people. 

We've all seen in the news the tragic stories of multiple residents in care homes or retirement homes sadly dying after the virus is exposed in these environments. Whilst we know that our schemes are not care homes, we're very aware that many of our tenants may be vulnerable and we're committed to taking every step necessary to minimise the risk where we can.

There are posters on the noticeboards in every scheme that explain the status and expected behaviours.

Here are all the things we have done to keep our sheltered scheme residents safe and informed since the COVID-19 outbreak started to unfold at the start of the year.

We hope the following will help answer any questions you might have.

Can I have visitors to my home? 

Yes, current government guidance allows you to have up to six people in your home (including you), but if they are from different household you will still need to follow the social distance rule of 2m. 

It is now against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble). The police have the power to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200. 

Please make sure that anyone visiting your home for essential care or to carry out work also maintains social distancing where possible, and don’t let them use your toilet facilities to reduce the risk of any cross-contamination. Please make sure they don’t stay longer than is absolutely necessary. 

Why is the trade button at my scheme deactivated? 

This is so we can continue to monitor the health of contractors and staff before they enter the building.  

People have to go through to the call centre so they can be asked screening questions and to make sure their visit is essential. We will regularly review this decision regularly. 

My scheme's rubbish bins are inside the block. Will the bins still be emptied? 

Where you have your own internal bins store, such as at Westwood and Parsonage Close, we advise that you place your refuse outside the main door to your block on the evening before your collection date to ensure that it is not missed. If you are unable to do this yourself, please contact us on 01494 476100 or by email at contact@redkitehousing.org.uk. 

If you need to find out when your refuse is due to be collected, please contact Waste & Cleansing on 01494 586550. 

I need some additional support. Are you able to help?

If there is anything at all that you need help with please give us a call on 01494 476100. We will try our best to help you, either ourselves or through one of the community groups in the area. 

I think someone living in one of your homes needs support during this time, what can I do? 

It is really important that we're looking out for each other. If you have concerns then please get in contact with us on 01494 476100 to let us know who you are worried about and we will get in contact with them as soon as possible. 

If you believe somebody needs emergency help, please call 999. 

Can we use the common room and lounges? 

All common rooms/lounges, communal kitchens, toilets remain closed.  

We know that it has been hard not being able to meet your neighbours to talk and relax in the scheme common rooms. Our decision to close them was to help reduce the spread of the virus. We know that many residents want them to open as soon as is safe to do so.  

The Government continues to tell everyone that they should not gather indoors in groups of more than six people.  If we allowed the common rooms to reopen at the moment we would be encouraging people to ignore the Government advice, and this would not be a responsible approach. 

We promise that we will continue to review this decision, taking into account local infection levels, and will reopen the internal communal facilities as soon as is safe to do so. 

Does that mean that we won't have any of our communal activities or the scheme surgeries? 

We know how much our residents enjoy the activities that take place at our schemes, as well as seeing neighbours, friends and our team members at the surgeries, however as the lounges will be closed it does mean that all activities are currently on hold. 

If you want to speak to a member of the team, please give us a call on 01494 476100 or by email at contact@redkitehousing.org.uk 

Can I still use the communal laundry facilities? 

We know that many of our tenants rely on the communal laundry facilities so we're keeping this open and providing guidance on how to safely share this service. 

  • Only use the laundry room one at a time 
  • Wash your hands before and after visiting the laundry rooms 
  • Clean up after yourself to help us to keep the room clean and safe for all to use 
  • Do not leave dirty clothes on the floor or in the washing machines 

Do I need to wear a face mask in communal areas?

We are supporting the Government recommendations on face mask and therefore we  suggest that you do so for the benefit of your family, neighbours and visitors.

Can I book the guest rooms? 

No, we have stopped taking bookings for the guest room. We have taken this decision as we believe it is in the best interest of everyone that lives at our schemes. 

Can I use the communal gardens? 

Yes, but the government has advised that while people can make more use of communal outdoor spaces they must adhere to social distancing. 

Current government guidance allows you to have up to six people in a group, but if they are from different household you will still need to socially distance. 

It is now against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble). The police have the power to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200. 

When using the communal gardens the following must be adhered to: 

  • Social distancing must be observed at all times, including when you walk to and from the garden and when using any of the furniture. You should be a minimum of 2 metres away from anyone who is not part of your household. 
  • Observe good hand hygiene as you touch any rails, door handles – washing your hands and using antibacterial hand wipes. If you can, you should wipe any handrails or door handles that you touch.

We have a responsibility to ensure that communal outdoor spaces are ‘Covid secure’. If we find that social distancing is not being maintained we would have to close the communal gardens again. This is to protect everyone from the spread of the virus. 

To make our external communal facilities as safe as possible we have continued with our programme of disinfectant spraying external areas as well as internal areas.

Can I see my friends and neighbours?

Yes, you can meet with up to six people. We ask that if you plan on meeting with your family members that you arrange to meet them outside of the scheme. It is really important to us that we continue to minimise the chances of the virus entering the scheme.

Can I leave my home? 

Yes! However you should continue to try and limit the number of times you need to leave your home. If you do have to leave your home, we ask that you make sure that you: 

observe social distancing and that you are at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household 

practice good hand hygiene and wash your hand frequently for at least 20 seconds. 

Face coverings are now mandatory on public transport, and in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies, post offices and indoor transport hubs.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

If you are experiencing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, please self-isolate immediately and contact NHS 111 for advice.  You can also book a test to confirm if you have COVID-19 by calling 119.

If you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, or become aware of a neighbour having a suspected or confirmed case, please let us know as soon as possible.  This will enable us to take extra precautions to help limit the spread of the virus within the scheme and help keep you and your neighbours safe.

Read our news story on how we're keeping our customers safe

Should I download the new NHS COVID-19 App?

The NHS COVID-19 app launched on 24th September and we would like to encourage our residents – particularly those living in our sheltered scheme homes - to download this on their mobile phone.

Downloading this app means you’ll be able to tell if you’ve been in close contact with any other user who’s tested positive for coronavirus. You will also be able to report symptoms, book a test and use the app to book into venues you visit, such as pubs and restaurants, using a QR code.

You can use the app anonymously. Nobody, including the government, will know who, or where, a particular user is. The app is designed to track the virus, not the user.

To download the app search for NHS COVID-19 app on the App store or Google Play. If you need more guidance you can find it here.


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Red Kite Community Housing, Windsor Court, Kingsmead Business Park, High Wycombe, HP11 1JU

Red Kite Community Housing is the trading name of Red Kite Community Housing Limited, a charitable registered society which operates for the benefit of the community under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered in England with the Financial Conduct Authority (registration number 31322R) and the Regulator of Social Housing (registration number 4682). VAT number 290 7410 06.