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An elderly Bromford customer is looking forward to settling back into her home after Christmas thanks to a huge transformation project, involving a number of partner agencies, that turned her three-bedroom property into a home where she can really thrive.

Colleagues from across our business including neighbourhood coaches, investment planning, community safety and service delivery teams worked hand in hand after many years of trying to gain access to her home to make sure it was safe and secure. In spite of our best efforts, an urgent re-wiring was the only work we were able to complete since 2018.

Before our teams began the transformation, the house was almost hidden behind undergrowth, wallpaper and tiles were coming off the walls, cupboard doors were hanging off their hinges and ivy was growing through the window frames. 

The customer has lived in her property in Lichfield for almost half a century but recently, during the pandemic, the customer became unwell and needed to be admitted to hospital. Thanks to our teams building a relationship with her family and social services and explaining the circumstances, we’ve been able to start slowly rebuilding our relationship with the customer and gain her agreement to start changing her home for the better.

During the last 12-16 weeks, our teams have fitted new windows throughout, a new roof, kitchen and bathroom, new central heating and external cladding as well as tending to the garden. 

Stephen Flanaghan, head of service delivery said: “This has to be the biggest turnaround story I’ve been involved with since joining Bromford 11 years ago. It’s been a massive team effort and paved the way for a very different kind of collaboration and new ways of working to ensure customers thrive.”

Jo Fieldhouse, associate director localities, added: “This has been a tough year, but this has been a great way to end it for this customer. It’s proof that we’re making big strides in building better relationships with our customers and using a ‘one team’ approach across our organisation. Sometimes our customers do not thrive in their homes and there are a complex set of reasons why this may be the case.

“In Staffordshire and The Marches Locality, we have started to develop a new way of working together, cutting across teams, using our unique expertise, to focus on indicators that might tell us a customer is not thriving. This way of working has shown us that when we pool our resources, expertise and joint thinking, we can come up with stronger solutions and make a huge difference to the small numbers of our customers who find themselves in such a position.

“The family worked closely with our neighbourhood coach, Sam Follows, to clear the home in readiness for the works and the family connections are now strong. The work has now been completed and the family, together with Sam, are preparing for our customer’s return to their home. While this home has been completely transformed, our work is not yet done. Our customer will return home to a place that she does not recognise and all involved with her will need to prepare her for the change, enabling our customer to learn how to thrive and continue to thrive in this improved home.

“This piece of work is really helping us to underpin our neighbourhood coaching approach, progressing thriving for our customers, investing in our homes, preventing neglect of our assets, whilst also ensuring that there is not a negative impact on budgets, particularly the cost of repairing our homes should they become empty.”

We’ll be keeping in touch to make sure she’s able to settle in and enjoy her new home after Christmas.

(Pictured are neighbourhood coach Sam Follows and repairs manager Richard Evetts).