#Communityhero: Sjaana Veltman, General Manager at Belle Vue, Hampstead
06 May 2020
Community spirit is more important now than ever. There are many people up and down the country working hard to support the communities in which they live and as our developments are their own communities we wanted to champion some of the fantastic team who have gone above and beyond during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meet Sjaana, the General Manager at our Belle Vue development in Hampstead, who made the decision to move into the development and lockdown with our owners to ensure owners remain safe, happy, and healthy whilst still being able to enjoy all the development has to offer.
What made you decide to isolate at the development with the owners?
The owners all got together before the lockdown was officially implemented and decided to limit their time spent out of the development to minimise the risk of contracting the virus. As I am relatively new to my role and the owners have all just recently moved into their new homes, one of the biggest goals for me was to establish a closer community. So, when the lockdown was implemented I felt it was important for me to move in to ensure owners were able to still have opportunities to socialise, get together and get to know each other whilst still being able to make the most of all the fantastic facilities onsite in a safe socially distant manner.
How has your day to day role changed and adapted?
One of the main reasons for me staying on site was to keep everything we could safely open. Unfortunately, we have had to close the sauna and steam room, but we have been able to keep the pool open in adherence to the guidelines and requirements, this means I need to conduct daily tests. Elsewhere, the gym and studio are being used for table tennis and the community spaces are used for a newly formed debate club, play reading and other activities that can take place with safe social distancing measures. Therefore, I must be extremely stringent in cleaning communal areas, I cleanse and wipe surfaces throughout the day.
The purpose of my role is still the same, I am here to ensure the smooth running of the development and that the owners are happy it is just that I have had to do some additional tasks each day to ensure that all stays that way!
I am fortunate to have time each day to spend with the owners too if they just need someone to chat to or share an ice cream within the garden. It is fantastic because I have been able to get to know the owners on a personal level.
What activities are you and the owners doing to keep busy?
Alongside the newly formed debate club, table tennis and play reading sessions they will also gather together to play games and just have a chat. The owners have also been getting together, at a safe distance, with some volunteering to be interviewed about their life stories to share amongst one and other. Through these activities they are sharing skills, it is very true to say you never stop learning and it’s wonderful to see people relying on each other.
Owners have said this is the best place for them at this time because they have their community.
Do you have any advice or top tips you and the owners can share to support others?
My only tip would be for people to get together on a regular basis (at a safe social distance) and have open discussions or just simply enjoy the weather together. Even if there is no conversation being had you are all still a part of something together.
It is also important to share your appreciation for the support you receive from those around you. I am so grateful to the owners for their appreciation and consideration for what myself, Mike the Chef and Ivy the night security guard are doing for them and how we are helping.
I am also extremely appreciative of the wider support network I have from the team in other developments, those working from home we speak regularly, and we have been shared appreciation and recognition from the senior team so thank you. We have even had an e mail from the Minister of State for Care thanking us for what we are doing.
This situation has shown me that family is not always blood, you should take good care of your community around you, help each other, spend time with each other and support each other.
Following the Government’s advice, PegasusLife has closed all sales offices and developments to visitors and viewings. However, continue to welcome conversations through virtual appointments: 0800 975 0170 or email [email protected]