Blackwood assembles team of maintenance heroes

A Scottish housing and care provider has launched a one of a kind maintenance program to blitz through housing repairs and a welcome return to meeting with customers in their neighbourhoods.

Blackwood Housing and Care has introduced ‘Hit Squad’ teams where experts from different disciplines will set out on a tour of 34 developments across Scotland to identify and complete repairs.

The idea emerged during lockdown to easily allow customers to voice their concerns and tackle overdue maintenance that was on hold due to restrictions when works were not possible.

After contacting customers through lockdown with welfare calls, staff are keen to get back out to developments and engage with people and ask what is important to them and what would have a positive impact in their environment.

Alex Burns, Asset Officer for Blackwood said: “We’re going to be taking on the ‘Tour de Blackwood’ which will include visiting our developments across the country and working through wide range of repairs.

“Improvements will include cleaning, landscaping, gardening, renewing lobby carpets and generally helping to brighten up the development and ensure they are up to our high standards.

“Starting from the simpler jobs such as a painting the walls to larger scale projects, we’ll look to document and plan all repairs resulting in nothing being missed.

“It’s a great opportunity not only to prevent any potential problems but also gives us a chance to speak directly with customers and hear first-hand what they would like.

“We’re really happy that we have very active customer participation and I find the work truly rewarding as it’s an opportunity to show we are a team working toward the same goal of providing top quality housing and care.”

Alex and the team were on board as soon as the idea emerged of creating Hit Squads, with a drive to implement a consistent maintenance plan across all Blackwood homes and engage with customers directly.

Alex added: “The Hit Squad scheme undertakes additional inspections so that we can maintain all properties and identify innovations that may be appropriate.

“Each team is made up of members from different disciplines such as innovations, housing and marketing – it’s great to have such a diverse group on board.”

Blackwood has a longstanding history of creating quality, innovative, and accessible homes to create homes that people of all ages and mobility levels can enjoy.

The charity aims to help people live their life to the full, by providing services which support them to live independently.

As Blackwood works in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, it is more widely dispersed than most other care or housing providers and has used its investment in innovation in design and technology, combined with great staff teams, to offer more choice and control to customers across Scotland.