Thirteen Group and Beyond Housing, two of the region’s biggest social housing providers have joined forces in an online video interview to give customers, colleagues and suppliers assurances during these unprecedented times.

Ian Wardle, chief executive of Thirteen and Rosemary Du Rose, chief executive of Beyond Housing spoke about their contingency plans, keeping the most essential services going and supporting their suppliers.

Rosemary Du Rose said: “People’s safety is the absolute priority, whether that is customers or colleagues.  At a time when government is asking us to social distance from each other you can imagine the challenge of keeping all our services running.

“That is why we’re concentrating on the services that keep people safe and help protect them from the virus.  We want to protect our customers and help them, whether it’s worries about food or income, we are here to help them.

“Our supply chain is vital and we’d ask suppliers to let us know if their services are impacted so we work together, and keen to hear from new suppliers who we can add to our supply chain.”

Ian Wardle said: “Our service has changed dramatically over the last few days in response to the crisis.

“My key message is that while we may be losing eyes and ears on the ground we are still reaching out to vulnerable customers.  Our contact centre team is working from home, as are our neighbourhood colleagues and we are there to help in any way we can.

“We will honour all our contractual agreements with suppliers and will look at bringing payment periods forward, and we are discussing if it is possible to make advance payments to suppliers in distress.”