A tenancy support advisor visiting a sheltered scheme before social distancing.

West Norfolk’s largest housing provider has outlined its plans to support tenants and the wider community during what promises be a difficult winter.

Freebridge Community Housing, based in King’s Lynn, has announced a range of measures designed to address some of the challenges posed by the pandemic, including loneliness and redundancy.

Steps include making regular welfare telephone calls to tenants aged over 60, with some daily calls and —home visits to more vulnerable customers.

Extra staff have been taken on to provide advice and guidance to people made unemployed as a result of the pandemic and a programme of activities is planned to help keep young people active and entertained at a time when many groups, events and clubs are on-hold.

Freebridge, which owns and manages around 6,800 homes, will also be working alongside organisations which supply food parcels and providing urgent temporary accommodation when needed.

Freebridge’s Sophie Bates.

Sophie Bates, Freebridge’s director of housing, told Your Local Paper: “Freebridge has always aspired to be a landlord that provides more than just housing.

“Our plan is to provide as much support in as many areas as we can in our customers’ lives, whether that be through additional financial support, advice and guidance, contacting people and preventing loneliness and isolation or providing some of the basics such as food parcels and other necessities over the winter.”

Although Freebridge’s top priority continued to be the health and safety of customers and staff, Miss Bates said it was striving to make a difference in the wider community, especially given the additional stresses and strains coronavirus had brought.

“We are committed to both our customers and the community we work in and recognise that this winter life is particularly difficult for a number of people.

“The campaigns and information we put on social media are available to anybody who feels they would benefit from guidance, whether that be around benefits entitlement, redundancy or so on,” she added.

Freebridge is working with organisations including West Norfolk Council, The Purfleet Trust, The Princes Trust, St Edmund’s Academy in North Lynn, Lily, Norfolk Mind and the College of West Anglia on aspects of the campaign.

Details of specific activities will be announced in the coming weeks and in the meantime, Miss Bates encouraged customers in need of support to reach out.

Call customer services on 03332 404 444 or email enquiries@freebridge.org.uk