Maintaining the safety of our customers and employees, while continuing to provide essential services was our priority through all lockdowns.
Our tradespeople continued to respond to customers to make our homes safe and better, attending almost 190,000 repairs in 2021. Although work on window and door and kitchen and bathroom replacements slowed dramatically, we did manage to continue with replacement work on more than 2,000 outdated gas boilers and electric heating systems, making use of government funding to fit 38 air source heat pumps.
Making sure we were on top of all essential emergency works required to keep our customers safe was a high priority. In 2021, we achieved 99.99% of all gas checks, with just two properties unreachable as customers were shielding – which have since been completed. We also achieved 5,188 electrical checks and 6,220 tests and assessments were carried out for legionella.
Work on fire prevention methods also continued in many of our properties with £9.7m invested in fire safety over the year.
We’ve completed a significant amount of work to ensure our customers who live in blocks of flats are safe from fire risk. With a focus on our taller buildings we know and understand the detail of all our external wall finishes and have carried out compartmentation surveys in all these blocks.
We’ve also signed up to the Building Safety Charter to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that buildings are safe for those living and working in them, and to protect life by putting safety first.
At Sovereign we feel a strong sense of responsibility to support those who are affected by domestic abuse. The pandemic has been a catalyst to reshape our offer and working with the charity Womankind we’ve supported women to make empowered choices around changing their circumstances, and the service has reduced waiting times for help by around a month.
We want to continue to develop our offer with specialist providers that cover all diversity streams, which will enable us to manage complex cases with the right kind of support for all our customers.