As the country entered Lockdown in March, R. Benson was approached by St Mungo’s Homeless Charity with an urgent request to carry out 25 void refurbishments widely dispersed across London and the Home Counties. Homeless people were in desperate need of these homes to support self-isolation and social distancing measures during the COVID-19 crisis, however, essential repairs needed to be carried out before they could be released. To adhere to the government’s social distancing guidance, we quickly introduced measures to ensure the welfare of both our teams and the safety of incoming residents, including:
- Property surveys and validations were carried out by R. Benson and St Mungo’s at different times, and then agreed by email
- Operatives travelled to properties in their own vehicles
- No more than 2 operatives worked in each property
- Careful programme management ensured that the specialist trades attended the property on different days at specified times
- Appropriate PPE was worn at all times including masks and gloves
- We identified and used our direct labour resource based on their locality to the properties to minimise travel
- Additional antibacterial cleaning procedures prior to handover
All void refurbishment works were completed withing within 3 – 5 days and handed back to the client with zero defects. The client was delighted with the turnaround time which was significantly quicker than they usually experience.
As a small registered housing provider St Mungo’s have not traditionally used a main contractor to carry out their void works, and they did not have the standard procedures and reporting documentation in place. We shared our best practice suggestions with their team based on our 30 years’ experience of delivering similar works. We also provided them with a number of standard reporting templates from our ISO 9001 accredited Business Management System (BMS) to support the delivery of these works.
R. Benson’s was responsive, supportive, and most importantly easy to work with. Working together we mobilised the project quickly and R. Benson’s delivered quality work in an excellent time frame. Our thanks to them for their support and responding to this need so promptly.