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Staff continue working hard despite challenges of COVID-19

Our staff, across the council, continue to work hard for our residents. We spoke with three of our staff within housing services about their experiences during this challenging and unusual time.

housing service officer

Published: 9 February 2021

Over the past year staff across the council have been working hard for residents, keeping essential services running despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. 

In housing services, staff have supported residents with their housing needs and helped our most vulnerable through Westminster Connects. The resident engagement team has delivered over 16,000 meals, made over 3,000 welfare calls, and helped people who are out of work to find local employment such as through the NHS. 

Recently, we spoke with three of our housing staff members about the work they have been doing for residents and how they have had to adapt in response to the pandemic. Betim (pictured above) is responsible for running all estate services, from St John’s Wood to Vauxhall Bridge Road, and manages a team of six.

“Since March of last year, my team and I have been out in the community every day, ensuring urgent tasks such as cleaning, health and safety checks, and emergency repairs get done. At times we have had some staff self-isolating, but we have always found a solution. I have three children, a nine-year-old, a five-year-old and a new baby. It’s scary knowing there is a virus out there, but I am a key worker and have a duty to our residents. There has been a real sense of community in Westminster, and I’m proud of us all for carrying on”.

Mohammed is a Housing services officer who has lived in Westminster all his life and has worked for the council for over 11 years.

“Since the pandemic hit, I have come into the office every day with my team. To protect both staff and our residents, we have been hosting resident meetings online, which has proved very successful. We regularly call residents to see how we can assist them. All teams across the council have stepped up during this time, and together, we really have demonstrated the values of our City for All vision. I truly believe that tough times don’t last, but tough people do, and we will get through this as a community”.

Rukshana works in our resident engagement team. When the second wave of the pandemic hit, she moved into Westminster Connects to support our most vulnerable residents.

“Daily, my team are listening to our residents and helping them access the services they need. We are reaching out to our shielding residents to see how we can assist them during this time. This help might involve coordinating volunteers to deliver shopping or prescriptions or linking those who feel isolated to our befriending service. We are also supporting housing residents through automated welfare calls during this difficult time. Through this, residents can let us know if they need help, and we can refer them to a relevant service such as a food bank or a therapy service”.

All staff across the council, from housing officers, to city inspectors, to waste collectors, are continuing to deliver essential services for residents across the city. 

Find more information on the help and support available for our residents. 

If you are housing services resident and need any assistance from us during this time, you can find a number of ways to contact us.