Well, since we last updated you in January, things have, thankfully, started to move forward more positively.
In line with the Government’s ‘roadmap’ for gradual lockdown easing, which took its first, tentative steps towards economic recovery on 12 April, we’ve seen many facilities that form the fabric of our daily lives re-open, including leisure centres, hairdressers and hospitality venues, albeit only for takeaway and outdoor service until 17 May.
The UK’s vaccination programme is also in full swing, with many of the most vulnerable now protected, millions of people having their first and, in some cases, second jabs, and people over the age of 40 now lining up for theirs.
Given all these developments, things are looking positive for achieving a full move away from lockdown by the target date of June, albeit we must await Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s formal announcement before jumping to any conclusions on that.
Nevertheless, we hope that the arrival of longer days and more clement weather is providing some comfort to members and their families, many of whom we know have been through an exceptionally tough time since March, 2020.
Our latest approach
Members can be reassured that we are progressing in line with the Government’s plan and following the latest guidance, while also making judgements ourselves, as to what we believe is appropriate to protect our people and our customers.
We have extended our opening hours and our branch service is now available between 9.30am and 4pm on weekdays, and between 10.00am and 4pm on Wednesdays. Our telephone lines remain open from 9.00am until 5pm on weekdays.
We’re also looking into the possibility of reinstating our Saturday morning and we’ll let you know, via our website, social media and in-branch, as soon as we decide it’s practical and safe to do that.
We continue to take precautions to keep everyone safe, and are very cognisant of the repeated warnings from health experts of the need to avoid complacency.
Our team members are wearing masks while in the office, working behind screens and maintaining social distancing. We are careful to ensure COVID-secure cleaning regimes both in our branch and back offices, and hand sanitisation stations are available to both our team and our customers.
It isn’t yet clear whether mask wearing and social distancing will remain in place after the June announcement, but please be reassured we will keep a watchful eye on developments and make sure we do everything necessary to minimise risk.
Our Head of Operations, Lesley Wegg, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our customers for your support during these exceptional times.
“I’m incredibly proud of our team here, who’ve shown the utmost dedication in maintaining a branch-based and telephone service throughout, and we’re grateful to members for adapting with us to enable us to do so in a safe manner.
“It’s thanks to all those efforts that we’re now able to look at gradually easing our restrictions, while still taking sensible steps, where we can, to prevent any transmission of the coronavirus which, despite everything looking much more positive, is still very much out there.”
Some things you can still do to help us keep you safe
Still offering mortgage appointments
We also remain committed to continuing to help people achieve their homeownership aspirations through lending particularly to those whose circumstances don’t fit the mould, including the self-employed, first-time buyers and those planning and in retirement.
Our mortgages appointments are continuing to take place over the telephone. If you would like to discuss your needs with a member of our mortgage team, call us on (01482) 881510 or email them to make an appointment.
Things you can do to help us ensure you the best service
We will continue to keep an eye on the developing situation with COVID-19, and further changes to the way we operate are possible. We will update you as these arise, via our website, social media and in-branch notices.
Below is a reminder of a number of steps you can take to help us avoid unnecessary interruptions to your service, for example if we need to operate temporarily from another venue.
Message from our Chief Executive, Karl Elliott
“These are exceptional times for all of us, and we thank our customers for all the support and patience you have shown so far in helping us, to help you, throughout the global pandemic.
“As a grassroots independent building society, going out of our way to offer our customers outstanding customer service in the best, and worst, of times, is in our DNA.
“I am exceptionally proud of how my colleagues here at the Beverley have pulled together to ensure that we have continued to serve our customers and offer mortgage and savings solutions since the outset of this worldwide crisis.
“With the help of our loyal customers, I am confident that we will be able to continue doing so, and that we will all emerge stronger, together, and hopefully before too much longer.”
If you are concerned about anything at all, please don’t hesitate to us on (01482) 881510, or email us, and we will do everything we can to help and reassure you.