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Salix Homes team members come to the rescue  

24 April, 2020

Each week a group of volunteers have been making thousands of phone calls to elderly and vulnerable tenants across Salford. 

Up and down the country, organisations like Salford-based housing association Salix Homes, have had to adapt to how they serve their customers during the coronavirus outbreak. One of the necessary steps to limit the spread of the virus has been to limit all non-essential face-to-face contact.  

ICT service delivery manager, Ellie Morley, is part of a team of Salix Homes staff who are making calls to elderly and vulnerable residents. The calls not only make sure that the tenants have access to food, fuel and medicine, but also provide the human contact that is being missed. 

Ellie said, “I decided to volunteer as I have a passion for people and a lot of empathy for those struggling, so thought this would be a good way to do my bit for those who needed a little support during these hard times. 

“We speak to the same people twice a week which I think helps build relationships. Some calls will last for two minutes, while others last for 15. Some have partners living with them so appreciate the calls but don’t need any additional support, but some have literally no-one. I will be the only person they speak to all week, so they really look forward to speaking with me. 

“I have a few calls that really pull at my heart strings and have even said they look forward to my calls and ask me to promise I will ring them back. I don’t really have the time to fit all of the calls in to one day, so I am probably still ringing around in the early evening to ensure I make all of the calls as I know some of them are waiting on it.”  

During one of her scheduled calls, Ellie found out that a tenant hadn’t seen her carer for a few weeks and had run out of personal health care items needed due to an ongoing health condition 

After a call to executive director of operations, Sue Sutton to alert her to the tenant’s needs, Ellie made an emergency one-off doorstep delivery to the customer to drop off her essential items. 

Neighbourhood manager, Liam Turner has been coordinating the calls to tenants. After being told about this resident’s plight, Liam got on the phone with the Spirit of Salford team to ensure measures were put in place to connect the tenant to the right health and social care team. The tenant is now receiving acare package from the Spirit of Salford network.  

Executive director of operations, Sue Sutton said “This is another great example of having the right people and contacts in the right place to make sure vulnerable people receive the support they require. Well done Ellie and Liam for stepping in to make sure this tenant is being properly looked after.  

Salix Homes is one of a number of Salford organisations signed up to the Spirit of Salford Network, providing targeted support to vulnerable residents across the city.  

If you are vulnerable yourself, or know anyone who is over 70 years old or with underlying health conditions in need of additional support, they can contact a new freephone helpline 0800 952 1000, launched today by the partnership. You can also visit www.salford.gov.uk/spiritofsalford