Last updated - 28 May 2020
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called Coronavirus.
Where possible all BHT services are running as usual and we are implementing enhanced hygiene procedures. The health, safety and well-being of clients, tenants, staff, volunteers, contractors and Board members is paramount and we will do everything we can to safeguard this. Our projects are reviewing the attendance of all external professionals who come in to support our clients so we are not introducing a moratorium at this stage unless Government advice changes..
In addition, we are monitoring and following Government and NHS advice, and communicating advice to our staff and clients. Services are continually under close review and plans have been developed in readiness for further developments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes the majority of our services are running as usual – despite the financial and practical challenges we need to continue to support our clients through this extraordinary situation. Many are particularly vulnerable and are relying on us now more than ever. We have a dedicated staff team who have quickly adapted to new ways of working, and who have found creative ways to maximise the support they can offer.
We are adapting our services in a variety of ways to minimise risk to our clients and staff, for example by implementing enhanced hygiene procedures in our hostel and residential support settings.
We are finding new ways to support people, ranging from ensuring clients have phones with credit and data so they can stay in touch, to bringing services online where practical.
The care homes that we run as part of the Archway project have remained free of Covid-19 thanks to early adoption of safety measures such as PPE for all, rigorous cleaning, a moratorium on visitors, and clearly communicated risk assessments and continuity plans.
Our Detox Support Project has temporarily relocated to another site to enable appropriate social distancing, ensuring clients and staff can communicate safely in groups and keywork. We are also supporting Brighton and Hove City Council in its work to place all rough sleepers in accommodation.
Staff are always there for you no matter what - putting your mind at rest and making you feel safe. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else at this time. Detox Support Client
What is lovely is that staff are so committed to doing the very best they can for people. Tracey Chandler, Operational Manager at BHT’s Phase One hostel for homeless people
There is a lot in the news right now about Coronavirus and for many of us, it can feel overwhelming and scary. Although it is important to stay informed, we also need to be mindful of our mental health and make sure that we look after ourselves.
Useful information to support your mental health can be found here:
In addition, Sussex Oakleaf, a local provider of mental health services which merged with BHT in April 2020, has launched a new online mental health support platform in response to the pandemic. Visitors to the site can chat to one of our trained mental health Recovery Workers and get support with managing their mental health or the mental health of a loved one.
BHT Advice Services in Brighton, Eastbourne & Hastings are still open and continue to provide specialist advice services in housing and asylum/immigration matters. Whilst our offices are not open to the public we are providing advice by telephone, email and other media. Our services are funded by the Legal Aid Agency and by Local Authorities and this means there are certain restrictions to the service which you can read about on each area webpage.
We have made some changes to our housing services to keep tenants, staff and contractors safe. For example, until further notice if any of our staff are due to visit, they will always check whether you are happy for them to come into your home. Where we can, we will contact you by phone rather than visiting so we can minimise any risks and help us provide the best service to you. Please take this opportunity to ensure we have your updated mobile phone details to aid communication.
We are currently running an emergency appeal to help us continue to run our services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We have had to cancel our major fundraising events for the year, and urgently need to raise funds to carry on our work and reach everyone who needs us.
If you would like your donation to go towards a specific BHT or Sussex Oakleaf project then let us know. Email [email protected] and our team will be in touch to find out more. The generosity of our supporters is what makes us so successful in transforming the lives of our clients, so thank you for your support.