Having devoted 16 years to customers and colleagues of Housing Plus Group, Jan Goode said farewell as she went off into early retirement at the end of March 2021.
For the past few years I have had the pleasure of working alongside Jan as part of the executive team and it is a great pleasure to take on the role of Executive director of housing along with my responsibility for care services.
The last year has been a period of exceptional and extraordinary challenge the impacts of which will affect individuals, communities and organisations for many years to come. Many of our customers and staff have been touched personally by hardship, loss, fear and uncertainty. Our staff have worked tirelessly in difficult circumstances to deliver the best possible services and support.
“The first few weeks in lockdown were incredibly busy. There were so many calls from tenants who needed to claim benefits for the first time,” recalls Andrew Sledge, one of our employment and money advice officers. Supported by our customer service centres, he provided crucial advice while working from home.
Our employment and money advice team achieved debt counselling savings for customers of £30,566 during 2020-21 – more than double the figure for the previous year. Along with the incredible work of our income team, that resulted in rent arrears falling to 1.59 per cent during this most challenging of years.