Last updated - April 2023
BHT Sussex Services Update
We continue to closely monitoring the situation. Even though the government has announced a relaxation of many restrictions, we continue to take a cautious approach to introducing changes to how we are working. The vulnerability of some of our clients leads to this caution, and the impact of infections amongst staff can have a detrimental impact on our ability to fully staff services. Our services continue to run, but with adjustments to safeguard the health, safety and well-being of clients, tenants, staff, volunteers, contractors and Board members.
The number of people sleeping rough with whom we can work at First Base remains restricted – 30 at any one time. Our Advice Centres in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, continue to operate including by phone or online. All our residential services continue to operate in a Covid-secure way, and our normal repair service has resumed for tenants.
For further information regarding services, please contact the individual services direct, ideally by phone in the first instance.
We have implemented enhanced hygiene procedures and have taken all the necessary steps to be able to describe ourselves as ‘Covid Secure’. That does not mean that there is no risk. Rather, if all our processes are followed, the risk of anyone becoming infected in our properties is minimised.
The measures we have in place include:
- Residents in our care homes can receive visitors, in accordance with national guidance around care home visiting. We understand the value of meaningful contact with friends, family and loved ones, and individually risk assess how this can happen.
- Just thirty clients are allowed in to First Base Day Centre at any one time, usually those new to rough sleeping
- Appointments and meetings are being held both in person and online where appropriate
- Personal protective equipment continues to be supplied to all staff
- Where possible, some members of staff are working from home although most have returned to the office for some or all of the week
We continue to monitor and follow Government and NHS advice, and we communicate advice to our staff and clients. Services continually review the plans they have developed in response to any further developments.
Covid-19 is still with us, and this has implications for our staff, clients and tenants. The following updates are of most relevance to our tenants:
- Regarding routine and emergency repairs and maintenance, tradespeople will be able to enter homes, but must follow coronavirus safety guidance.
- Gas, fire and electrical safety inspections in homes will be expected to continue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes our services are running as usual – despite the financial and practical challenges we need to continue to support our clients. 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 have adapted 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 have found 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.
You can see many example of the practical ways in which we have adapted various services in our 2020 Annual Review, which had a special focus on our response to Covid-19.
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 Project Client
Coronavirus is still with us 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 during this time can be found below:
- The Mental Health Foundation - a great web page with advice on how to look after yourself during the Coronavirus outbreak
- Mind - tips for taking care of your mental wellbeing and practical needs during this time
- Pathfinder West Sussex - tips for looking after your mental health when returning to work
- Young Minds - advice and guidance for young people who are worried about their mental health and wellbeing during the outbreak
BHT Advice Services in Brighton, Eastbourne & Hastings are still open and continue to provide specialist advice services in housing and asylum/immigration matters. We are providing advice by telephone, email and other remote media. We are still able to see those clients who do not have access to advice by telephone or other media face to face in our Covid-secure offices. 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.
If you would like your donation to go towards a specific BHT Sussex project then let us know. Email email@example.com 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.