ARCH is pleased to support the #BigHousingThankyou on Wednesday
20 May 2020 to celebrate our frontline housing workers, the
invisible heroes of the country's COVID-19 battle.
The day began with the launch of a two-minute video on the
website of the sector's top news publication, Inside Housing, just
The film features 22 residents and leading figures from
organisations across the housing sector, including Chair of the
ARCH Tenant Group Jenny Hill, Chair of the See the Person Campaign
Tenant Management Committee & member of the ARCH Tenant Group
Martyn Lund and ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby.
They read a specially commissioned poem against a backdrop of
housing staff from more than 30 social housing organisations, all
pictured on the COVID-19 frontline.
Click here to
see the video
Home-working has not been an option for the many hundreds of
housing staff including tenancy support and assistance officers,
the skilled trades staff and the community hub workers on whom so
many neighbourhoods have depended during the crisis, whether
residents are tenants or home-owners.
At a time when the whole country was told to stay at home, their
presence in the community became more important than ever. They
have kept thousands of communities safe and well-cared for: doing
repairs, clearing rubbish, cleaning, staffing food bank services,
doing safety checks, delivering care packages, and phoning or
calling on hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people to check
Across the country, they became a crucial part of the national
COVID-19 response as they simply got on with their jobs or swapped
roles without missing a beat, going wherever they were most needed.
They've given up lunch hours to collect prescriptions; they've gone
out with other key workers from 999 services to check on residents
who neighbours were concerned about; they've volunteered as
emergency community first responders and even in some cases for the
difficult but essential job of staffing cemeteries and morgues.
Back-office colleagues have also been stretched to the limit. At
a time when so many residents have feared for their livelihoods and
even their homes, call centre staff and financial wellbeing and
rent officers have reassured and advised customers and tirelessly
supported colleagues out on the ground.
Thanks Are Due
Here we make a house a home,
here we make a flat your own...
and this work we don't do alone.
There's hundreds out there every day
working hard to keep at bay
the wear and tear, the "come what may" -
To you we owe our gratitude
for your bravery, your aptitude:
caretakers take the time to care, empty bins, clean the
make a difference everywhere;
care workers lend a helping hand: medication,
a ray of hope - they're the key;
sparkies, plumbers conduct repairs, keep the lights on, keep
every home, every space we share;
and those who run our refuge spaces, who provide the safest
to go when things are at their worst;
and residents, now well versed in social distance, staying
who keep things calm, inspiring;
and everyone who works with us, delivers, fixes, and in
makes us proud, keeps our chins up.
To our workers: we depend on you -
your bravery, your fortitude,
for every single thing you do
a million times, our thanks are due.