Local housing provider, St Leger Homes of Doncaster, has today revealed how it stepped up to meet the challenge of the severe cold weather in Doncaster last week.
Despite the challenges presented by adverse weather conditions last week, St Leger Homes services continued to operate, with all their offices remaining open. All emergency repairs calls, particularly where there was a loss of heating or loss of water, were responded to and resolved.
In total an additional 335 emergency repair call outs were arranged between Wednesday 28th February and Saturday 4th March. 161 of these call outs related to loss of gas or boiler problems and 70 related to plumbing, including burst pipes and frozen pipes.
As a result of targeting support during the period of severe weather, some non-urgent repairs have been rescheduled.
St Leger Homes provides homelessness provision on behalf of Doncaster Council and manages the Severe Weather Emergency Plan (SWEP) which has been in place since January. St Leger Homes worked closely in partnership with the Complex Lives Alliance and last week in the severe cold weather made additional temporary accommodation available at short notice in order to provide shelter for vulnerable people identified by the team. The homelessness team offered 37 people accommodation or helped negotiate a return to a previous home.
All those with a history of sleeping rough that engaged with outreach workers or directly accessed the service were made an offer of accommodation.
Chief Executive of St Leger Homes, Paul Tanney, said:
“We want to thank our staff for their hard work last week ensuring that we were able to meet all emergency repair needs during the severe weather, as well as putting in place additional accommodation to ensure anyone sleeping rough could be offered a place to stay overnight. Their determination to get into work and make a difference for vulnerable people in the local community was great to see in the face of such adverse weather conditions.
“We coped much better than we did during the Big Freeze in 2010. Partly that was down to our emergency planning ahead of the cold weather which meant extra trades staff were made available for repair call outs and emergencies being prioritised over non-emergency scheduled repairs – and extra beds being allocated for rough sleepers. But it was also down to working hard with tenants to ensure they were aware of tips to cope with cold temperatures in winter – for example, only a handful of our call outs related to burst pipes or frozen pipes.
“We appreciate the patience of our tenants where non-emergency repair appointments have had to be rescheduled, we hope they will understand that the many cases of people being without any gas or water in their properties had to be our priority given the challenging conditions.
“We’d like to remind people that we now offer private gas boiler servicing for non-tenants, at a relatively small cost. We always put our customers first. If you want to take us up on this offer, please call us on 01303 862 862 or visit www.stlegerhomes.co.uk. Even in the toughest conditions, we offer a 24 hour repairs service, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”