Covid-19: Helping communities

Local authorities are experiencing unique challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, requiring an agile response to the allocation and distribution of resources to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

ENGIE continues to work closely with local authority clients to help them address their key priorities. Here are some examples of how our dedicated local authority teams are helping them meet responsibilities through these challenging times:

Delivery of emergency accommodation

Our regeneration team across London and the South East have been working hard during this time to carry out emergency works for several clients. They have also been adapting, refurbishing and re-purposing various facilities to provide emergency accommodation for the homeless and vulnerable.

On behalf of the London Borough of Southwark, they have carried out emergency accommodation works to enable the use of 60 previously empty flats in Peckham. They will now house a number of residents who were living in temporary accommodation with shared bathrooms and kitchens - allowing them to self-isolate during the coronavirus outbreak.

ENGIE teams have also completed an emergency refurbishment for Central Bedfordshire Council, to create transitional housing for over 50 homeless people in the former Days Inn Hotel, Sandy.

Providing information hubs

Calls for assistance and advice to local authority contact centres have increased exponentially and our teams have worked tirelessly to help enable local people to access the help and guidance they need. Across the country, ENGIE’s resident liaison teams are working with other volunteers to make calls to elderly and vulnerable people to check their welfare and offer comfort.

At Cheshire West and Chester Council, ENGIE’s Qwest partnership team has created a specialist Covid-19 response hub. The contact centre operates 12 hours per day, seven days per week, adding essential extra capacity to council helplines by supporting thousands of additional calls on a dedicated Covid-19 helpline.

For North Tyneside Council, ENGIE worked alongside the local authority and voluntary sector to rapidly develop and set-up a dedicated Covid-19 helpline to ensure those who are most vulnerable are getting help fast.

Across the North East, ENGIE’s resident liaison officers team are volunteering to call residents that live alone or are vulnerable to check they are ok. They have also been referring vulnerable residents to Age UK to receive daily meal deliveries.

Adapting to safely deliver essentials

At our Qwest partnership, our engineers are also helping in the distribution of resources such as welfare boxes to shielding residents in Cheshire, meals for vulnerable people and personal protective equipment (PPE) to local care providers.

In support of workers managing essential council services, the team has introduced mail scanning facilities for council teams, enabling effective delivery of services whilst working from home.

The ENGIE teams across the country including those working for Birmingham, Tamworth, Wakefield and London Borough of Southwark councils have also provided support to their communities by helping to distribute food to the most vulnerable.

In Northern Ireland, ENGIE has agreed with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive that we will assist with emergency jobs for other housing associations (that are not currently clients) where necessary.