As the situation develops with Coronavirus pandemic, The Pioneer Group is committed to making sure residents, staff and communities stay safe. We will continuously monitor updates issued by the government and respond accordingly by updating information on our website and social media channels:

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Our teams have worked hard over the last 18 months to respond to the crisis and as the situation unfolds we are now transitioning cautiously and with great care to protect our employees, residents and communities.

The following infographic shows what services we can currently offer.

We are working hard to provide a full range of services. In doing so, we need to ensure all activities have the appropriate measures in place and follow approved guidelines best practise to keep our employees, residents and customers safe.

As of Monday 19th of July, England will be in Step 4 of the Roadmap out of lockdown. We have updated our operations to reflect this throughout The Pioneer Group and as an organisation this outlines our core operational processes for employees as the following:

  • All buildings will be open with controls in place;
  • A combination of home-working and office working with controls in place;
  • Visits to tenants homes are permitted but will include social distancing and wearing PPE;
  • Community services and events to proceed with limited numbers and strict controls in place; and
  • All external activities reinstated with controls in place.

We are continuously reviewing government guidance alongside advice from Birmingham City Council’s Public Health Department and will provide regular updates to our services through our social media platforms.

For full details of all official government guidance on the latest measures, please click here.

Our reception service at the High Street is now fully open with opening hours as follows:

Monday – 09:00 to 17:00

Tuesday – 10:30 to 17:00

Wednesday – 09:00 to 17:00

Thursday – 09:00 to 17:00

Friday – 09:00 to 16:00

For all out of hours emergency calls, please call 0121 748 8100 (24 hours)

We are continuing to limit the numbers allowed into our reception at any one time so we can maintain social distancing. As we take a cautious approach to the lifting of restrictions, we ask residents to continue wearing masks while in communal spaces (unless exempt).

If you need to come and see us, it is recommended that you come alone if you are able to. If you want to speak to a particular member of staff you should make an appointment in advance to ensure they are available.

You can access a wide range of our services from our websites or you can continue to contact our team by emailing contactus@pioneergroup.org.uk or calling 0121 748 8100.

Our rent services are fully operational.

We recognise that with the gradual reopening of businesses, the phasing out of furlough arrangements, or unexpected redundancies may mean some people may find they are experiencing a change in income. It is important that you talk to us as soon as you think you might be running into difficulties with your finances as we can help you access support with our money advice or employment services.

As our reception continues to have limitation controls in place, residents may find it quicker and easier to pay rent via:

  • Calling our team on 0121 748 8100;
  • Allpay either by calling 0330 041 6497 or visiting their website allpayments.net
    (you will need your rent card for this option);
  • BACS transfer;
  • Or setting up a Standing Order

Please note: For BACS transfer or Standing Order please use your tenancy number as the ref to ensure payment reaches your account. (Account name: The Pioneer Group Account. No: 40714852  Sort code: 20-07-71).

We are currently operating a full repairs and maintenance service through Wrekin Housing Group, based on access provided by residents. We want to reassure residents that, even as restrictions continue to ease, our teams are taking the utmost care to carry out these important services as efficiently and safely as possible. This includes:

  • Wearing PPE
  • Only accessing rooms with appliances need to be checked
  • Ensuring all areas are thoroughly wiped down in accordance with HSE practice.

Our team are here to help you as much as possible and we understand that during these difficult times, access won’t always be possible. If you have a visit booked then find you have to isolate, please get in touch to let us know and we will work with you to rearrange a more suitable appointment.

To keep our employees, contractors and our residents safe, you should expect to be asked about self-isolating if you have a visit booked. These include:

  • Are you self-isolating?
  • Do you have a fever or symptoms of breathing illness?
  • Have you been in contact with someone who is self-isolating or with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
  • Are you in any of the two high-risk groups who have been advised by Public Health England to remain home for 12 weeks and avoid face-to-face contact? (You will have been approached by the NHS if you are in these categories)

We hope you understand that these questions are not intended to be intrusive but are designed to protect you, contractors, and prevent the risk of spreading the virus.

All other services will resume with a full (with appropriate measures in place) including: repairs, kitchen upgrades, electrical testing and external painting. Testing programs for Fire Risk Assessments, Asbestos, Legionella, Fire safety will also proceed with the same care in accordance with Government Guidelines.

Our gas servicing programme is now fully operational.

Following the same procedure as our repairs service (see above) will be wearing full PPE and only accessing rooms where appliances need to be checked. To keep our residents, employees and contractors safe you may be asked about self-isolating in advance of your booking.

Gas servicing is not only a legal requirement, but an essential safety service for you and your family. If your gas is not inspected within these 12 months then this can lead to dangerous consequences including carbon monoxide poisoning.

We ask all residents to work with our contractors to book your gas servicing appointments when due to keep you, your family and your home safe.

Our housing services are now fully operational.

Routine visits have now been reinstated, however these will be pre-booked where possible and members of staff will abide by social distancing guidelines and wear face masks when attending (exemptions apply). If anyone in the household experiences any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact the office to rearrange the appointment.

Our lettings and mutual exchange services are fully operational, with our empty properties being repaired and let.

We will continue to practice safety measures within our operations and restrict attendance numbers while viewing a property; because of this we ask that, if possible, you avoid bringing children to a property viewing.

Routine visits have now been reinstated, however, these will be pre-booked and members of staff will abide by social distancing guidelines and wear face masks when attending (exemptions apply). If anyone in the household experiences any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact the office to rearrange the appointment.

If you or your children are experiencing domestic abuse, then know that you are not alone. Support is available to you. The definition of domestic abuse reaches beyond physical violence and can be an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and/or violent behaviour, including sexual violence. In the majority of cases it can be by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial or economic abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

You may not feel ready to share your experiences with someone else yet, but there are people who can offer you help and support when you are ready, and you can find resources online to help you decide what action to take.

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner is an independent voice that speaks on behalf of victims and survivors. A range of resources are listed on her website: www.domesticabusecommissioner.uk/for-survivors

If you are worried about your online activity being monitored, follow this link for a helpful guide on how to browse privately: www.valleyhouse.org.uk/domestic-abuse-coventry/online-safety-how-to-hide

You can contact our Neighbourhoods team on 0121 748 8100 if you need to talk to someone about your home situation. We take concerns of domestic abuse very seriously and we will work closely with you and other agencies to keep you safe. We take a victim centred approach in tackling abuse and will agree with you what action we will take. We won’t pressure you into something you don’t feel comfortable with.

You can go to any Boots Pharmacy and ‘ask for Ani’ – a phrase which all staff understand and will provide you with discreet support and access to help in a safe space. Your nearest branch is at the Fort Shopping Park, but you can find another here.

Please remember: If you are at immediate risk, call 999. If you are scared that you might be overheard by the perpetrator, you can use the silent system. Dial 999, then instead of speaking to the operator, press 55. To find out more click here.

Safety Advice

Are you worried about a friend, family member or neighbour? More resources are available here https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/are-you-worried-about-a-friend-family-member-or-neighbour/

You may recognise yourself as being on a path to becoming a perpetrator of domestic abuse. There are a range of resources also available for you, including a number of self-help guides. See www.respectphoneline.org.uk for more information.

Our estate services are now fully operational.

You may see our estates or painting staff on site. If so we kindly ask residents to maintain social distancing at all times to keep you and our employees safe.

If you are a CVCH tenant and want to book a Bulky Waste Collection please contact us via email contactus@pioneergroup.org.uk or 0121 748 8100. Once booked, our team will be in touch to advise how you should prepare their waste and what precautions, if any, they need to take. Please note, demand for this service is very high so there may be longer wait times for collection times.

We are not responsible for removing fly-tipping on Council or private land. Please report all fly-tipped items to the Council through the free fix my street smartphone app, through their website www.fixmystreet.com or directly to the Council here www.birmingham.gov.uk/flytippingremoval

 

Community safety is a priority and CCTV is still in operation. We are working closely with West Midlands Police to detect and intervene in the prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour. We encourage any resident of Castle Vale to notify us of anything that may be cause for concern on 0121 784 8100.

If you see any criminal activity that you believe is an emergency or an immediate threat to life, please call 999 immediately.

Creating strong and vibrant communities is one of our core aims, and this continues to be more important than ever. We are incredibly proud of our staff, who have come together with our partners and volunteers to develop our #CovidCommunityOffer to keep our communities safe, informed and positive. As we move forward, some aspects of this will change, for instance, providing the intensive level of food support we provided at the height of lockdown however, we will continue to be responsive in this area and will ensure to keep you updated.

We are working hard to co-ordinate support through volunteering and other means to the most vulnerable across the community. If you have any concerns of support needs about yourself or those close to you, please don’t hesitate to contact us to see if we can help. Additionally, if you are able to volunteer in the Castle Vale area please contact contactus@cvch.org.uk

Our community centres, including the Sanctuary in Castle Vale and the Community Hub at Falcon Lodge, are now open for community services and events with strict controls and safety measures in place. More details about what services are available will be updated regularly on our social media channels, Twitter and Facebook.

As we take a cautious approach to the lifting of restrictions, we will also be asking residents and employees to continue wearing masks while moving around the internal areas.

Compass Support will also continue to deliver some services remotely, via phone and email, to offer a versatile range of support to suit the needs of the communities we work in.

These services include:

  • Employment support (Contact Rob Harris on 07841 067662)
  • Life coaching (Contact Ceri Cooper on 07525 902 964)
  • Family support (Contact Shamsa Mughal on 07841 067 651)
  • Independent living support (Contact Shamsa Mughal on 07841 067 651)
  • Youth mentoring (Contact Compass Support on 0121 748 8111)
  • Virtual youth club (Contact Compass Support on 0121 748 8111)
  • Telephone befriending service (Contact Leonie Hammond on 0794 307 9496)
  • Wellbeing-Activities (Contact Sarah Powers on 0774 116 4704)
  • One-to-one telephone support (Contact Leonie Hammond on 0794 307 9496)

For any other information, including future bookings, you can contact the centres on the details below:

  • The Sanctuary: 0121 748 8111 | contactus@compass-support.org.uk
  • Falcon Lodge Community Hub: 0121 329 2055 | contactus@compass-support.org.uk
  • Highcroft Community Centre: 0121 382 5101 | secretary@highcroftcc.co.uk

Following the recent Government update, we are thrilled to open the doors of Castle Vale Stadium for football matches and training. Our bar and function room is also open but will continue to operate with reduced numbers. As we take a cautious approach to the lifting of restrictions, we will also be asking residents and employees to continue wearing masks while moving around the internal areas.

Further enquiries can be made by contacting contactus@castlevalestadium.co.uk

It is with great sadness that we announce the permanent closure of TiggyWinkles Day Nursery from Friday 30 July 2021. Until then, TiggyWinkles is still operating in line with government guidance and retaining safety measures.

This very difficult decision comes following a financial strain from a challenge of keeping attendance at viable levels.

Despite all best efforts, there is unfortunately not enough take up of childcare placements to be financially viable. In addition to this, the nursery is still recovering from loss of income through 2020 due to the social and economic impact of the pandemic.

We understand this is a difficult time for many and are committed to supporting our current parents and carers with finding new placements and the transition following into new childcare.

Our nursery team are working diligently in accordance with the updated government guidelines and we are committed to making the last few weeks a celebration of the nursery’s great history.

If you have any further questions regarding the closure of the nursery, please visit www.tiggywinklesdaynursery.co.uk

We would like to thank all parents and carers, past and present, for the confidence in our nursey and wish all your children a successful and happy future.

We want to support our suppliers and will aim to pay invoices more quickly than standard contractual terms.  Our offices are closed but our team are working remotely, so to help us process invoices quickly:

We have always worked with partners in Castle Vale, Stockland Green and Falcon Lodge and whilst we are unable to meet face-to-face, we are in touch and coordinating where possible with local Schools, West Midlands Police, the City Council, local charities and community groups. You can check the website and social media platforms for each of these partners directly.

Our teams throughout The Pioneer Group are working hard to provide our full operational service within our communities. We are aware that these are not normal times and there will inevitably be some disruption to services, however we want to assure residents that you, alongside our staff, are our priority. We are continuously reviewing the position regarding COVID-19 in line with Government guidance, as well as looking at how other social housing providers are responding to this situation. We will provide updates about our services regularly through our website and social media.

If you have any concerns or questions about coronavirus, visit the following NHS website for advice and notify us if you are advised to self-isolate: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

The latest information and facts about Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the Government website:
www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public