Taking a moment to reflect on the substantial changes and challenges we have all faced over the past six weeks, we are so proud of everything we have achieved so far.
£184,000 was released to help our clients fund home repairs during April alone, almost double the amount compared to this time last year. At a time when we’re in our homes more than ever, making sure they are warm, safe, and comfortable feels more important than ever before.
We swiftly adapted our assessment process to replace home visits with telephone appointments for new clients, set up a payment break policy for existing clients who have been impacted financially during the crisis and swapped office chit chat with a weekly team quiz or game via Zoom. Looking after our clients’ and colleagues’ wellbeing in this uncertain time is, more than ever, at the top of our list.
The first day of lockdown coincided with the ‘go live’ of our new loan management system. The team were not deterred by the challenge of this alongside remote working, and taught themselves and each other a vast amount and with great determination, to learn the system whilst still doing their day jobs.
A swift policy change allowed us to immediately put the minds of clients worrying about their repayments at rest. Each client is dealt with on an individual basis, with some taking a three-month payment break and others extending their loan term to reduce monthly repayments. We have been able to help make this difficult situation just a little bit easier for those who are finding resources scarce. Telephone appointments are being booked and completed promptly, with the whole team working hard to ensure no client has less than our usual high level of customer service whilst we adjust to work from our homes.
With cancelled events, not being on the road and advertising at a halt, we have really seen the strength of our community networks. 64% of our enquiries during April were referred in from other organisations, proving the power of the brilliant partner links we have made locally. As technology comes to the forefront when communicating digitally, we rely heavily on these relationships to not leave behind a generation not in the digital world.
The pace at which we can assess clients when completing telephone appointments has become prevalent, giving us more time to help more people. Reflecting on the uncertain time we’re living in, we remain certain that the service we deliver is adaptable, client-focused, and crucial.