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The true value of social housing: Kathleen’s story

WSHA tenant Kathleen shares her story on the support she received during lockdown.

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Scottish Housing Day 2020 gives West of Scotland Housing Association (WSHA) a chance to reflect on what has been an unprecedented six months as the coronavirus crisis unfolded. Due to the nature of social housing, the impact perhaps was felt even more acutely by the customers it serves. During this time, the staff have witnessed the true value that social housing can have on individuals and communities and how it can make such a positive difference.

Kathleen, 78, shares her lockdown journey.

She said: “I have been a tenant of WSHA since 2011 and pre-coronavirus I had a daily routine of going to the local shop for my lunch then going to the bingo which I loved. I had to shield which meant I wasn’t able to see my family so I felt very lonely and isolated.

"During lockdown WSHA provide me with a daily wellbeing call which has been such a lifeline. It is Stuart who calls me and he is so positive and makes me feel safe. He has really helped me through some of my darkest days. It was great to have a recent call using WhatsApp video and I was near tears when I thanked him for everything he has done over the last few months. My daughter thanked him too as I have told her how much I have benefited from our calls – it is like he is part of the family! I can’t wait to meet Stuart in person when this is all over to thank him in person.

"I am so grateful to WSHA for organising the calls which have helped me through this very lonely time.”

In addition, WSHA, like many RSLs across Scotland, has gone further since March to provide a range of increased support services to tenants and communities:

  • 13,637 wellbeing telephone calls made to those over 65
  • 1,485 lunches have been delivered to families with children as part of a summer holiday programme within Glasgow East
  • 4,187 hot cooked meals delivered to tenants in our Sheltered Housing sites
  • 366 families were offered support in the form of a supermarket gift voucher to support additional costs within the household
  • 488 hot meals have been provided to older people and families within the community
  • 755 food shopping parcels have been delivered
  • 1,050 referrals for support with welfare benefits since the end of March
  • 137 tenants have been supported with fuel or data top-ups.
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