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Michelle's update: October 2020

Your quarterly update from our chief operating officer

Michelle Reynolds, our chief operating officer, provides an update on the latest news and developments, including our new repair appointment service and how Clarion has worked more creatively than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.

In my last update back in the spring, we were only just embarking on the lengthy national lockdown, with each of us having to adapt our lives to a pandemic sweeping across the world and into our communities.

As we enter into the autumn months, we’re still having to navigate our way through a period of uncertainty and turbulence. I want to assure you that Clarion is fiercely committed to supporting you – our residents – every step of the way through these unprecedented times. That commitment is underpinned with an unwavering passion for continuously improving our customer service to you.

“Clarion is committed to supporting you every step of the way through these unprecedented times.”

Michelle Reynolds

chief operating officer

Despite the limits and restrictions over the past five months, our teams up and down the country have worked harder and more creatively than ever, so we could continue providing essential services to you while ensuring we kept your safety and personal wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.

The fast and efficient response from staff across the business has been remarkable, but I also want to thank you for the truly inspirational ways you have pulled together in our communities.

To give you a snapshot of just some of the ways we’ve responded to the crisis, we:

  • made more than 80,000 calls to our older residents, providing essential support during lockdown and helping to tackle feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • established an Emergency Support Fund through Clarion Futures, providing more than £130,000 in grants to 95 social enterprises and charities doing invaluable work in their communities
  • continued to support people into jobs and training, helping 480 people secure employment between 1 April and 30 June, at the height of lockdown.

Enriching customer service experience

As part of our ongoing drive to provide you with a first-rate customer service experience, we’re delighted to launch our new website.

With a fresh, vibrant look, we’ve packed the pages with everything you need to manage your home, including help, guidance and information, an improved mobile experience and faster access to your online account.

If you haven’t already registered, your online account will allow you to make fast and secure payments, request a repair and get in touch. You’ll also be able to update your personal details, including mobile and email, so we can stay in touch.

This website has been designed for you, so we’re really eager to find out what you think. Please take a look around and send us your feedback.

This will help us as we embark on the next stage of our digital journey, which will expand the ways that you can self-serve and carry out more transactions online. As additional features become available, we’ll make sure to keep you updated.

The new website is just one part of our bigger and more ambitious plan to be more customer focused and to provide you with a choice of quick, modern digital services.

We recognise that our residents have busy lives and when things go wrong in the home it can be stressful. That’s why in May, Clarion Response enhanced its repairs service by introducing On My Way, a real-time messaging service that keeps you fully updated throughout your repairs appointment journey.

It allows you to better plan your day, gives back more control and features live map tracking of your operative, so you know when they’ll be at your front door. It also offers a hassle-free way to send instant feedback and a satisfaction rating on the job.

Find out more about On My Way

For a full update on what we’ve achieved during 2019-20, please have a read of our new Residents’ Annual Report, which includes some amazing stories from residents across the country and outlines our pledges to you for the year ahead.

Regeneration projects

Discover how we’re investing £1.2bn improving local communities through our major redevelopment programmes across the country.

Looking to the future

Although the next 12 months are likely to be a challenging time for the country, we’re confident in our role supporting you, protecting our staff and continuing in our mission to provide quality housing for people inadequately served by the current market. It’s what you deserve and we’ll strive for nothing less.

The Clarion 2040 programme is our long-term plan to ensure our homes continue to be good quality, affordable and fit for the next generation. We’ll work to a new set of standards to ensure all our existing and new build homes are the best they can be.

Running alongside our continued commitment to investing in our existing homes is our work on regeneration projects in a number of our communities, including our scheme in Barne Barton, Plymouth, which currently is being transformed from a 1960s housing estate to a modern mixed-tenure community.

We’re also hoping to start work next year on our Sutton Estate in Chelsea, creating over 80 new social homes and an extensive upgrade programme to over 300 remaining flats. And our regeneration project in Merton, south London, will welcome residents into their new homes at the end of September. The project was designed to tackle overcrowding and introduce improved green spaces and child-friendly play areas.

We know that you’re the best people to help us to shape and improve our services, which is why we’ll be reviewing and delivering a new three-year strategy that develops and modernises the ways you can get involved and have your say.

Finally, I want to let you know about Clarion’s exciting new Instagram channel, which we’ll be launching this autumn. It will provide a window into Clarion, signposting you to jobs and training, and opportunities to get involved.

We’ll also be celebrating our residents, highlighting their stories and sharing how they’ve been supported. We want to create a really positive and lively online community, so please look out for our launch and give us a follow.