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In the Zone - Zone D

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been running a series of articles to highlight the great work in each of our zones - a series we are calling “In the Zone.”

The series gives the team in each zone to talk about their successes, what makes them tick, what makes the Housing First model great and give them a space to talk about their key achievements.

In the fourth of the series, we spoke to the team who deliver the service in Salford, Trafford and Wigan - Zone D.

Team members: Martine Whitehead, Melissa White, Paula Lorde, Greg Whittaker, David Ferguson, Mohamed Ali, Gillian Stewart, Samantha Bernard, Amy Gregory, Amy Booth, Phillip Gaskill, Osman Kamara

What is your team’s top 3 biggest achievements?:

Tenancy sustainment – We have had very high tenancy sustainment rates in most of the areas we cover. There are reasons in the one place we don’t which are difficult to overcome but otherwise we have people who have been in their tenancies for years and are very happy in their homes.

Relationship with Local Authorities – We now have a fantastic relationship with the Local Authorities in our Zone. These have had to be forged and nurtured over the past four years and we are now in the position that we have an amazing relationship with our Local Authority colleagues.

Pulling through as a team – The work we do is demanding but we know that we have each other’s backs. Everyone is so supportive and will help if needed. We have diverse backgrounds and specialisms within the team that helps us to help our people.

What makes your team unique?

Our adaptability is what makes us unique. During the pandemic, we knew that our people would suffer with just phone contact, so with support from management we looked at different ways we could stay safe and give our people the support they needed to get signed up for properties and also help them navigate a very difficult time.

Tell us something interesting/surprising about your team?

Our innovation and creativity is something that has surprised us. We have found new ways to help and the range of projects we have put on such as the art groups, boxing clubs and allotment projects are incredible.

What thing as a team are you most proud of?:

The impact we have had on the people we work with and the zone over all is what we are most proud of. With each person, we have been able to make a difference – no matter how small – that has helped to better their lives and given them a sense of pride in their achievements. For some people it can be that they haven’t been arrested for the longest time in their adult lives, or that they haven’t presented to hospital for the long time. Each is an achievement worth celebrating and shows the impact we are having.

What piece of advice/best practice would you give to other teams working in the multiple disadvantage space?

The best piece of advice is to be flexible. Humans are individuals and this isn’t a one size fits all service, so you need to be creative, flexible and willing in your approach to find what works in helping the people you work with. We have been employed as we have the skills and experience that makes us different so we can use our ingenuity and skills to make a difference.

Sum up your team in three words?



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