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Martine's blog - stepping in to big shoes

Some of you will already know me but if you don't, let me introduce myself.

I’m Martine Whitehead and I’ve stepped into the Programme Lead role as Emily Cole has gone on maternity leave.

Stepping into Emily’s huge shoes is an absolute privilege and something of a daunting task.

Over the first two years of the pilot, Emily has led the team and partnership to create something incredible that is bringing about systemic change and giving some of the most vulnerable people real hope of a brighter tomorrow.

For those who don’t know, I’m well-versed in Housing First. As part of my role as Head of Support Services with Great Places I have been Zone Lead for Zone D, so have been already worked closely with most of our fantastic partners and seen what an impact the programme is having on the lives of people being helped out of homelessness.

The last couple of months have been really exciting for the pilot as we passed the 200 mark in terms of people we have supported into their own homes.

It’s an incredible achievement but there is still a lot to do as we strive to make the pilots permanent and we have a lot of exciting things planned so watch this space!

We are now fast approaching Year Three where a big focus will be on sustainability of the programme and continuing to drive system change and shared learning across Greater Manchester.

I am really looking forward to meeting partners who I haven’t met so far and will be joining as many meetings as I can to say hello and put some faces to names.

I also want to come out with Housing First Workers and meet some more people on the programme as soon as its allowed.

The pilot has come so far in a very short period of time but it’s making a huge impact.

Thanks for reading and I’ll look forward to seeing everyone soon.

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