Our Director of Development Julie Porter saw the urgent appeal by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust for self contained properties close to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and she and her team sprang into action. The appeal was put out via Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio.
The Development team have a small number of new-build flats that were completed, but not let out, before lockdown. Keen to assist the response to coronavirus, Julie instantly offered them to the NHS Trust, as well as alerting the Buckinghamshire Council Hub to their availability.
When the NHS Trust said they had someone who would like a flat, the team arranged furniture and some home comforts, so the flat was ready within three days providing an NHS Hero from Stoke Mandeville with a self-contained home they can relax in between shifts.
Julie said: “As a housing association, we are used to working with our council partners and other agencies to deliver the best outcomes for our customers. But it is at times like this that the strength of our relationship with other agencies really comes to the fore. Together, we can move quickly to provide essential help, whether it is food for those who suddenly find themselves without an income, or as in this case, a home for an NHS worker who needs to fulfil a vital role within the community while keeping their own family members safe.
“It’s a privilege to be able to help those in the frontline dealing with Covid-19, and play a small part in making life a little easier for our NHS heroes.”
Cllr Isobel Darby, Cabinet Member for Communities at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “It is in times of crisis like now we see the real benefit of the close and effective working relationships that have been developed over years. The council is delighted that Vale of Aylesbury Housing has been able to respond so positively to the temporary but vitally important housing needs for NHS staff at this critical time."
Ali Williams, Commercial Director at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said: “The Trust has been overwhelmed by the way the local community has responded to provide support for our staff. The wave of love and goodwill has touched all of us and is helping to carry our teams through this challenging crisis.”
Julie’s team is now busy preparing a further three flats for NHS workers to move into.