14 December 2020

Lending a listening ear and helping hand to our residents


Over 30 volunteers joined our resident involvement team for a mammoth effort to check-in with our vulnerable residents during the second national lockdown.

More than 200 phone calls were made by LexisNexis volunteers to older residents living alone and individuals isolating because they are deemed at risk. During the conversations, residents were asked if they were receiving necessary practical support including assistance with food shopping, prescription collection and healthcare appointments.

93% of people spoken to said they didn’t need any additional assistance and 82% confirmed they were receiving regular contact from friends, family or other sources. Residents who told us they need support will be contacted by our Care and Support team and signposted to community organisations, where helpful.

Whilst most people’s physical needs were being dealt with, the ‘phonearound’ exercise shed light on the increased levels of loneliness experienced by our residents, with over 25% telling us they felt isolated during this lockdown. To combat this, in addition to the outreach and befriending support already offered to vulnerable residents, we will now also be contacting ‘lower risk’ individuals on a regular basis.

The calls were well-received, with many residents expressing their gratitude to us for keeping in touch and checking in with them. They also gave us positive feedback on the support they’ve received, paying particular praise to our Scheme Managers and Floating Support colleagues.

Octavia’s Resident Involvement Manager, Peter Walkinshaw, said: “As an organisation with a strong social purpose, we don’t just build new homes – we invest in and support our communities. And this year our work to help residents has been more important than ever. We’re working hard to get everyone the practical and emotional support they need, but we can’t do it alone. A huge thank you to volunteers from LexisNexis for generously donating their time and skills to help local people in need. As well as helping us to identify how we can further help our residents, they took the time to have quality conversations with people – social contact that was much appreciated.”

We have a wide network of corporate and individual volunteers who have helped us to reduce social isolation in our neighbourhoods during the first lockdown and beyond. This includes substituting our one-to-one befriending support for older and vulnerable individuals with a telephone befriending service. Many of our face-to-face befrienders have switched over and we have also seen an incredible response from other local people who have signed up to help– with nearly 200 new volunteers joining the project since March.