Harbour Housing

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COVID-19: Live Feed

Keep checking this page for all updates regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

In these unprecedented times it’s a real comfort to know the team around you are professional in their work, passionate about what they do, empathetic to the needs and positive in their outlook.

We have a fantastic team at Harbour Housing who never cease to amaze me when faced with difficult situations and I’m proud to be associated with such dedicated, friendly and collaborative people.

The Directors and Management would like to give their thanks and admiration to everyone for their hard work and dedication in these difficult times.

Chris Abbott, Head of Housing

Tuesday 28th April 2020

Staff wellbeing and feedback are incredibly important during this time of high stress and change. We have organised for supervision with researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University who have been holding confidential interviews with members of staff. This will help us to reflect upon how we have responded to the current situation and in what ways we could improve.

BBC Radio Cornwall contacted us to learn about how we are responding to the crisis. Listen to the interview here, from 1:52:55.


Thursday 23rd April 2020

Small groups and activities have been initiated and management staff who were off ill have returned in good health.

Some external partners are beginning to come on site for certain appointments while continuing to observe hygiene and social distancing guidelines.

Staff are holding socially distanced sessions at our move-on properties in the car parks and gardens to ensure that residents know that they are still supported.

We have launched a crowdfunder to help out with additional costs that have been incurred such as food and kitchen costs and rent on the rooms we are holding open as quarantine bays, as well as PPE for staff.

Pen Prints on Paper

Words Working Their Wizardry

This is My Moment

Winner of the Resident Haiku Competition

Thursday 16th April 2020

Face masks were received and we are still waiting on further PPE for frontline staff.

Still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents and the quarantine bays are being kept ready if the situation does arise.

Our most vulnerable residents have begun to receive food parcels from the government.

Boredom Busters have been created to keep residents entertained during this prolonged lockdown period and we are looking into reinitiating activities in small controlled groups.

Tuesday 7th April 2020

Support staff are all on a rota, with three people in the office at a time providing essential support, and all other available team members working remotely.

Several members of staff are self-isolating with symptoms, but the majority are continuing to work from home with no problems.

One resident expressed symptoms and was moved to a self-contained unit in order to quarantine, with the areas she had come into contact with thoroughly disinfected.

She has been tested for COVID-19 and the result was negative. She is still being treated for lung difficulties.

We have three rooms being kept available for people to quarantine themselves in without needing to access shared areas.

A signing out book is at the entrance to Cosgarne Hall to remind people that they should only be leaving for essential purposes.

We are still awaiting the delivery of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our frontline staff.

Thursday 26th March 2020

The computer in our private Cosgarne office is now fully up and running, and is being used by our residents for communication and keywork sessions.

We realise that this is a particularly difficult time for everyone, including our residents. Yesterday evening we had several ambulance call outs to our properties, reflecting the stressful nature of these unprecedented circumstances.

We are reminding our residents that their keyworkers are always there for them, and can be contacted remotely. We’re also reminding them of the importance of importance of protecting their mental health, and to reach out if they’re struggling.

Wednesday 25th March 2020

A large majority of our staff are now working from home using iPads purchased in anticipation of remote working. Two members of our Tenancy Sustainment Team are working onsite to ensure continued support is delivered and everything is running smoothly, with this system operating on a rota.

We have installed a computer within one of our offices at Cosgarne Hall, where residents will be able to see and communicate with their support worker during scheduled appointments and keywork sessions.

We are not restricting movement within our properties at this time.

Residents been informed again about the new tighter restrictions and individuals have been advised against leaving the site in groups or multiple times a day by staff, and have been discouraged from doing this in the future.

Tuesday 24th March 2020

Due to the unprecedented measures outlined by the Prime Minister in yesterday evening’s press conference, Harbour Housing has decided to inform our residents of all relevant information and government measures regarding the social restrictions.

Letters outlining these measures have been distributed this morning to all residents, and posters have been displayed around our properties, informing residents of the new government advice on staying at home unless absolutely necessary. 

Staff are monitoring all our properties remotely, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of everyone within. 

Residents with physical health problems who may be more vulnerable than others have been flagged, and are regularly checked on by staff. 

Currently, there’s no face to face contact with clients to help with social distancing and to reduce any potential transmission. 

All staff including the maintenance team have been given Harbour Housing name badges, to show if questioned that they are critical workers during this pandemic. 

Friday 20th March 2020

Today we have successfully completed our business continuity plan, detailing Harbour’s management structure during the outbreak, staff contingency measures, and how necessary measures can be successfully maintained.

Thursday 19th March 2020

Further measures have been implemented at Harbour to ensure the continued safety of our staff and clients.

An isolated room is being converted onsite at Cosgarne Hall where staff can stay if they are unable to return home for a period of time, to be used as either a self-isolation provision or for an overnight stay.

All staff have been informed about hygiene and personal safety practices, having received advice in the form of pamphlets and posters. This information has also been given to residents. 

Staff have also successfully conducted house meetings for our residents, informing them of essential hygiene measures and the compulsory hand washing procedure implemented at all of our properties.

92% of our residents have attended these meetings, which will be increased to 100% by Friday. The response from the residents has been really positive, with everyone ready to take on board these new and essential measures. 

Furthermore, staff are taking precautions and practising social distancing whilst in the work place. This morning, our team leaders’ meeting was conducted via video chat, as was the Safer St. Austell partnership meeting.

Wednesday 18th March 2020

We currently have two members of staff working from home, and one member of staff in self-isolation as a preventative measure. None have presented with symptoms at this time. 

The Cosgarne entrance sink has been fully installed, with members of staff (Cosguardians) monitoring front door at all times on a rota, making sure all those who enter thoroughly wash and dry their hands.

Posters have now been displayed in all our properties, encouraging residents to practise regular hand washing and maintain good hygiene.

We are continually monitoring and updating our policies, taking advice from experts in the sector. This morning, homelessness charity Groundswell posted excellent guidance on how to self-isolate when living in temporary accommodation, with this information being promptly shared with our residents. 

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Having listened to government advice to avoid public gatherings and non-essential contact, Harbour has taken the decision to cancel clubs, visits and courses run and attended by external volunteers at Cosgarne Hall. We’re continuing to assess the situation, and will keep all parties up to date.

To ensure resident well-being, internal clubs and activities will still be operating.

 Residents can still meet and socialise, but have all been given clear information on good hygiene practice and advice, and will be informed and supported to self-isolate by their Key Worker if necessary.  

Furthermore, our Outreach drop-in and signposting services have been cancelled, with referrals and assessments being taken over the phone and through video calls.

Where possible, Key Work staff will attempt to carry out progress sessions with residents through the intercom and phone. 

Staff will also be taking precautions by transporting residents in our minibus or welfare assessment vehicle rather than Smart cars to reduce prolonged close contact, as well as carrying personal hand sanitiser to use regularly.

Welfare checks will be carried out daily as usual by staff on our residents, but will now only require verbal communication rather than meeting face-to-face.

Due to supplies being difficult to obtain in bulk, the Cosgarne Hall kitchen will be reducing its meal service to one large dinner per day. Meal tickets purchased by residents will be refunded in full, and residents who require it will be supported to obtain food bank vouchers

Resident kitchen volunteers are also offering to take food to everyone’s rooms to avoid long queues and close contact while waiting for meals.

Every two hours, staff are sanitising surfaces, hand rails and door knobs in communal areas to prevent potential transmission. 

The sink being installed at Cosgarne Hall is in the final stages of completion.

Monday 16th March 2020

Ongoing work to install the sink

The Facilities Management team are installing a sink at the entrance to Cosgarne Hall and everybody who enters the building will be required to first wash their hands.

Informational posters on health and hygiene are being displayed on site and short informational videos have been put up on social media and will be displayed on screens.

All courses and induction events have been postponed as well as visits from external partners and guests.

There are currently no cases of the virus among staff or beneficiaries.

Official guidance is being closely monitored and we are in constant communication with commissioners and other partners.

A comprehensive business continuity plan has been compiled and will be updated continuously in line with guidance and recommendations from government and local authorities.

Our infrared thermometers will be used if anyone feels hot or has a temperature. More thermometers have been ordered.

Current advice for self-isolation:


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