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Pensioners heap praise on Housing Executive for offers of help and friendly voice during lockdown

Staff have reached out to tenants who may require help with food delivery, prescription collections or just to talk to eliminate the feeling of isolation

Laura from Housing Executive
Laura Hagan, Patch Manager for the Portadown area

Pensioners in Co Armagh have been praising the kindness of Housing Executive staff in reaching out to lend a helping hand – and a listening ear – during very difficult and traumatic times.

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the Housing Executive has been keeping in touch with some of its older tenants to check how they are coping.

It has also been keeping tenants updated daily through online and social media platforms, but has been reaching out to those who do not have access to these services.

To that end, staff in the Armagh, Banbridge, Lurgan and Portadown area have been providing the personal touch and are reaching out to some elderly residents to ensure the Executive is doing everything it can to support them through this lockdown period.

This has allowed staff to identify tenants who require help with food delivery services, prescription collections or just to provide a friendly voice to help eliminate the feeling of isolation. It has proved to be hugely successful with tenants.

Eighty-six-year-old Thomas Lappin, from Portadown, was delighted to receive he call from his ‘Patch Manager’.

He said: “I was speaking to a friend of mine on the phone earlier and I said to him there is a girl I can’t get out of my head from the Housing Executive, you would think that we have known each other for years.

“She phones me to check how I am doing and if I need anything.

“She is a great girl and it’s very good of her to think of me. I look forward to when this is all over and we can officially meet each other.”

Betty Irwin, aged (89 and also from Portadown, added: “I get very down sometimes and I am glad of the phone call.

“It’s nice to hear a friendly voice and I can’t thank Laura and the Housing Executive enough for thinking of me.”

Laura Hagan, Patch Manager for the Portadown area, said she was glad to be able to assist vulnerable people in a time of uncertainty.

“Doing this task made me realise that a simple telephone call could make someone’s day,” she said.

“All calls I have made were greatly received by my tenants, which made it even more rewarding to be part of.”

Patch Managers can be contacted on 03448 920 900 and for further information on our services during the Coronavirus pandemic visit the FAQ’s section at www.nihe.gov.uk

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