Be People Centred
Our mission is ‘To make a real difference to every customer’.
Our vision is ‘For customers to be our biggest advocates.’
Every day our employees strive to improve people’s quality of life.
Whether it’s council tenants and leaseholders, people at risk of homelessness, or people with learning or physical disabilities – we are committed to providing great service at great value.
Show respect – We respect each other and our customers
Forget Chanel No 5, there’s a new scent on the scene… Eau du Fish and Chips No 1!
How many of us have been lured to buy a massive portion of fish and chips, solely by getting a whiff of that delicious batter and fried potatoes? Well, as one of our colleagues was about to find out, that aromatic scent has a way of lingering…
Last week Friday, on one of the coldest nights in London and the South East, a power cut happened in the Finchley area, which affected vulnerable and elderly residents of Wimbush House.
Once again that amazing team spirit so prevalent at The Barnet Group and so beloved by us all, kicked into action.
Susan Blackburn, Wimbush House’s SHM Ola, and the Sheltered Housing Team plus the Three Musketeers, Stephen Pugh, Shah Mushood (is Shah ever off duty?) and the Repairs Operational Manager whirred into action, staying until after 9pm to ensure that the residents of Wimbush House would be warm on that cold, cold night.
The evening was not without its challenges, as the older residents of Wimbush House were understandably very anxious about the prospect of not having any power at all.
The Three Musketeers got engineers from UK Power Network down to Wimbush House quickly and worked with them to make sure our Sheltered property was switched back on to power with as little disruption as possible.
As the night got colder, the Repairs Operational Manager and the team had the inspirational idea of treating everyone to a fish supper.
Not as easy as it sounds, as the Repairs Operational Manager had to contact three different fish and chip shops who would cater for that amount of people before he phoned Oliver’s in Whetstone. Luckily, they were only too happy to help!
Everyone down at Wimbush House tucked into fish and chips. David Hann and Ian Woollard, our other heroes of the night, went out and got torches for each of the residents. Ian dropped them off personally on his way home, which the Wimbush House residents really appreciated. And even the National Grid contractors got a share of the fish and chips as a big thank-you for their efficiency on the night.
Finally, one of the residents of the scheme, felt compelled to dial in some praise for a job well done: “They all made sure that the residents were okay and I like to give credit where it is due. I wanted to say that I was very impressed by this service. Well done to Barnet Homes!” It’s safe to say the residents at Wimbush were as happy as Larry.
Now our Repairs Operational Manager has a lasting memory of his commitment to the cause that particular night as his beloved car held the exquisite notes of Fish and Chips Eau Du Parfum No 1 for some time – not even sure if several car washes could get rid of it…
Find solutions – We find solutions to meet people’s needs
The Neighbourhood Team’s Amanda Quinn showed once again why she’s an Everyday Hero!
Ms X lives alone in her property and electrical rising mains works were being carried out in her block. Whilst this was being completed, every effort was being made to access Ms X’s property to upgrade the electrics so that she could be connected to the new system.
There had been at least five appointments made to go into the property to do the work, but every time the contractors had been denied access due to her vulnerability. Ms X finds it extremely difficult to cope with people she doesn’t know (strangers basically) in her home carrying out the loud and disruptive work.
Unfortunately, as we had been unsuccessful in getting access to the property, when the switchover happened in the block, it wasn’t possible to connect her home and so she had no electricity. Therefore, arrangements were made for a hotel for Ms X to stay at temporarily.
One final attempt was made to carry out the re-wiring work, but sadly again she wouldn’t allow the contractors inside her home on the date that had been arranged.
Under our duty of care, we had to complete the work and so our solicitors had been briefed and arrangements were being made to begin injunctive proceedings to ensure we could enter the property and to guarantee her safety.
During this time, Amanda contacted Ms X and negotiated with her for there to be one final attempt to complete the re-wire in one day.
Amanda promised Ms X that she would be there for the duration to provide her with assurance. Amanda arrived at the property at 7.30am and ensured the contractors remained outside whilst she carefully explained to Ms X what would happen during the day before introducing Ms X to the contractors.
Amanda then spent time reassuring Ms X and distracting her from the distressing parts of the work. Due to two weeks without electricity during the heatwave, the fridge was in a really poor condition, and it was at that moment that Amanda volunteered to clean out the fridge.
Ms X really saw that Amanda was prepared to go above and beyond to help make the day as easy as possible for her. Ms X was surprised by the help being offered to her and felt much more at ease with Amanda being at home with her and able to offer her continued reassurance.
Amanda was at the property from 7.30am – 4.30pm reassuring Ms X whilst five contractors completely re-wired her home in one day (which is no mean feat!) Huge thanks also to the contractors for their patience and assistance leading up to and on the day.
Amanda’s people skills are second to none and she isn’t fazed by the most unusual situations. No matter how difficult someone is being, Amanda always sees their needs and is able to communicate with them.
Plus! As a result of Amanda carrying out Mission Impossible, Barnet Homes has saved legal costs and officer time carrying out injunctive proceedings, and has saved Ms X from a distressing process even more upsetting than having the work carried out.
You may say, “But that’s your job!” – but working with difficult customers and sometimes telling them what they don’t always want to hear takes considerable people skill. The Neighbourhood Team are lucky to have her!
Make a difference – We make a positive difference to people’s lives
My crisis or your crisis? – When work and family collide…
Breeda has been a dedicated Support Worker for CommunitySpace for many years now. But last week, Breeda was faced with crises both at work and at home. What did she do?
Breeda was due to pick up one of her clients to take her regular activity sessions, but the service user started to show signs of feeling unwell during the session and an ambulance had to be called.
Breeda went with her in the ambulance to deal to try and reassure her – even though the client was physically lashing out at everyone, including Breeda herself.
In the hospital, Breeda stayed with her from 11am until the early hours of the morning. This included having to wait with the client for four hours before any medical intervention attended to them. When Breeda finally left the hospital at 1am, the situation deteriorated further, not even the service user’s relatives could calm her down. The client refused to go home so she slept on a hospital sofa all night.
Since this episode, Breeda has kept in touch with the service user’s sister, social workers and medical team whenever she can, trying to make sure the service user gets the right help. The service user is still very fragile and has been in between hospital stays and her home.
Breeda’s manager David Sewell said: “Our service user needs intense mental health support – more than our service can provide, but there isn’t much resource/support available for mental health out there. Breeda is a very dedicated support worker, but this was a very stressful week for her. She was supposed to have finished at 3pm that day to help her husband. Her husband had an accident this year which was almost life-threatening and caused significant physical injury. Breeda has all this to deal with at home, but still manages to be there for her clients 24/7.”