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Freebridge to help tenants connect with friends and family


A project to help Freebridge’s more vulnerable tenants connect with their loved ones launches next week

Despite the changes in government guidelines many people are still choosing to self-isolate to some degree, and with this in mind the West Norfolk Housing association is making use of re-conditioned computer tablets so tenants can book video or Skype calls with those they may not have seen face to face for some time.

Tenants who don’t currently have access to a computer, tablet or smart phone can borrow the devices for specific times to make the calls, and the tenancy support advisors will provide guidance on use if needed. The tablets will be delivered to their doorstep in a covid secure manner and collected again at the end of the time slot.

Director of Housing at Freebridge, Sophie Bates, said: “It’s been difficult year for all of us, and not being able to see friends and family has been particularly tough for some of our older and more vulnerable tenants who may not have had access to the technology that a lot of other people are using to keep in touch. “Reducing social isolation is one of our key aims this winter because we know how important it is for everyone’s mental health.” We know that a lot of us value contact with our friends and family above all else, and hope that this goes some way to keep people connected with those that matter most.

This project is part of a wider programme of activities that Freebridge have announced to help and support tenants, and the wider community, throughout the winter months. Other activities include:

  • making regular welfare telephone calls to tenants over the age of 60, including daily calls, and some home visits, to our more vulnerable tenants,
  • providing additional financial and welfare support,
  • providing additional advice and guidance to people who have become unemployed as a result of the knock-on effects of coronavirus – we have taken on a number of additional employees to help do this,
  • facilitating urgent temporary accommodation requests from partner organisations,
  • identifying suitable empty properties for use as isolation units,
  • providing support to partner organisations in respect of the supply of food parcels for those in need, and
  • a programme of activities for young people to keep them active and entertained.

    This project to loan out computer tablets, which is provided free of charge, is primarily aimed at tenants within Freebridge’s sheltered housing schemes across West Norfolk. However, we do know that we have tenants without access to technology living in our general properties and so they are welcome to contact us to use the service too. It is only available midweek and during working hours.

If any Freebridge tenant wants to make use of this service they are asked to contact the tenancy support team on the main contact number 03332 404444. /a>