As things are continuing to move quickly with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, 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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In line with the government guidance, we have closed our offices & community centres and are no longer able to provide face-to-face services.

In its stead, our teams have been working around the clock to deliver essential services remotely to ensure that we can support both our residents and the national effort to stay at home and save lives.

If you need to speak to a member of our team, please contact us on 0121 748 8100 or on contactus@pioneergroup.org.uk

Please note, while our remote systems are now in place, we ask that you bear with us as we test these new methods of working.

As well as the obvious health impact to families, the Covid-19 virus can seriously affect your finances too. A sudden, unexpected change in income can leave you feeling overwhelmed. As a community led housing association we want to do as much as we can to help minimise the impact. Running up rent debts can cause you serious stress and take a long time to get yourself back on track. It’s important that you talk to the income team as soon as you think you might be running into difficulties with your rent or other payments. We will work with you to ensure you can access money advice and check to see if you are entitled to any benefits to help you through this difficult period.

We can only help you if you let us know what is happening, so please talk to us straight away. Leaving it too late to seek help can mean debts can get out of control, making it harder to sort out. You can find some useful information at www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus

Although our reception isn’t open at the moment you can still contact us via 0121 748 8100 and you can still pay your rent  via Allpay.net, Allpay 0330 041 6497 (you will need your rent card to do this), Standing Order or BACS transfer – Please use your tenancy number as the ref to ensure payment reaches your account. (Acct name. The Pioneer Group. Acct No. 40714852/ Sort code. 20-07-71).

We are currently only able to carry out essential emergency repairs and gas servicing. Emergency repairs consist of:

  • Uncontainable leak
  • Total loss of power
  • Total loss of heating and hot water in a home without alternative forms of hot water e.g. electric shower.
  • Serious security breach (such as an insecure front door)
  • Major structural damage

Our repairs team are here to help you as much as possible during this difficult time, however we ask that you consider carefully if your repair falls into the above category when contacting us.

You may call to register other repairs, however these will be postponed until government social contact measures are relaxed.

When raising emergency repairs with us or when contractors visit to undertake gas servicing you should expect to be asked about self-isolating, including:

  • 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 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 to other vulnerable tenants.

Although our reception areas are temporarily closed, our Neighbourhood Officers are still available to help with any questions or queries. Please note that while our teams are on hand to support, social distancing means our processing may take longer than usual. This is to make sure each case is handled in the most appropriate manner, ensuring our tenants and staff’s safety.

We are also asking our residents to be mindful of neighbours during this difficult period.

Some may be key workers providing our community with vital necessities; others may be suffering with the virus or other illnesses and need to self-isolate; some may be home-schooling young children; whilst others may be taking time out with their household away from the media or even working from home. With all of this in mind we ask that you are respectful and mindful of noise levels with your neighbours to help us all carry on and recover as a community.

Being confined to our homes is stressful and can be an emotionally challenging time for all of us, but even more so for those who are experiencing domestic violence and abuse whether physical or mental.

We know already that isolation is a tactic used by perpetrators to control the person they are subjecting to domestic abuse. It is often used to block people’s routes to safety and support. Therefore, we understand some of the risks of a nationwide lock down for people experiencing domestic abuse. There is no excuse for domestic abuse, no matter the situation we find ourselves in.

If you and your children are experiencing domestic abuse, then know that you are not alone. Support is still available to you.

You can always contact our Neighbourhoods team at The Pioneer Group on 0121 748 8100 if you need to talk to someone about your home situation. We take concerns of domestic abuse very seriously and work closely with West Midlands Police to ensure all of our tenants are safe.

Please remember:

  • Try to keep a mobile phone with you at all times possible, fully charged.
  • 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.

Remember, if you have symptoms of Covid-19, you should inform the police, when you speak to them.  This will not be a reason why they cannot offer to help.

You can also contact a number of national helplines via, email, text and live chat support services.  Listed below are some useful numbers and websites where you can find some extra support.

Understanding what domestic violence and abuse is

Safety Advice

Are you worried about a friend, family member or neighbour?

More information

For useful information about safety planning and domestic abuse support you can read The Women’s Aid Handbook

If you are in a refuge, the Government have issued guidance on isolation for domestic abuse safe accommodation settings which can be found HERE.

Refuges do not need to close unless directed to by Public Health England. If you or your children show symptoms whilst in a refuge, you should remain in your own room and follow the self-isolation guidance for households is HERE

Bulk collection services are not being carried out at present therefore we ask that tenants keep any items in their properties as we cannot currently dispose of these.

While you may see members of our estate teams still out working, we ask that you respect their safety and only speak to them if you can do so from the government guidance of at least 2 meters (6 feet).

For any queries, you can speak to our teams by calling 0121 748 8100.

Community safety is still 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 right now this is more important than ever. We are incredibly proud of our colleagues who have come together with our partners and volunteers to provide our #CovidCommunityOffer to keep our communities safe, informed and positive.

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 Rebecca.Winkless@cvch.org.uk

Our community centres including the Sanctuary in Castle Vale, the Community Hub at Falcon Lodge and Highcroft Community Centre in Stockland Green are now closed. We will still continue to deliver services remotely using phone and email and will prioritise contact with those that require more intensive support.

Compass Support will still continue to deliver services remotely using phone and email and will prioritise contact with those that require more intensive support. 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 Lee Crofts on 07811 293 503)
  • Virtual youth club (Contact Lee Crofts on 07811 293 503)
  • Telephone befriending service (Contact Leonie Hammond on 0794 307 9496)
  • Virtual Wellbeing-Activities (Contact Sarah Powers on 0774 116 4704)
  • One-to-one telephone support (Contact Leonie Hammond on 0794 307 9496)
  • Emergency Asset Register (Contact Sarah Powers on 0774 116 4704)

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

The Sanctuary: 0121 748 8100 | 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

The Stadium is now closed and all footballing activity including training and matches and events have ceased. Further enquiries can be made by contacting contactus@castlevalestadium.co.uk

In light of the situation we are all currently facing, and further developments from government, we have not seen the uptake of parents that we first thought may be needed by key workers therefore TiggyWinkles Pegasus will be temporarily closing from Friday 3rd April 2020 until further notice.

We are currently working to support parents in any way we can to arrange alternative childcare during this time.

We would especially like to thank all our families for your understanding over the past few weeks and we are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

We want to support our suppliers and will aim to pay invoices more quickly than standard contractual terms.  Our offices are closed and 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 across The Pioneer Group are working hard to look after and continue to provide core services 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 and are awaiting further 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