Welcome to the new GMHF Heroes

Last week, we welcomed 12 new frontline workers to our partnership.


In line with our transition plans and to increase the capacity of our service, the new workers from across all six of our delivery partners joined us for three days of virtual core induction training.

It took considerable planning to adjust our core induction sessions to make them fir for a virtual world. It was also the first time all of the sessions had been delivered consecutively, one of the key benefits to having a large group of workers all starting at the same time.


The sessions started off with a ‘meet and great’ session where the new staff could meet myself and the rest of the Housing First central team and also each other.


This also provided us a great opportunity to ensure everyone’s IT equipment and connections to Zoom were working!


Next up was module one of Homeless Link’s Housing First in Practice course. Historically this workshop has been delivered over two days in person but they have broken it down to five 90-minute modules delivered over Zoom.


As it is the first time that they had delivered it in this way we are lucky enough to have Jo Prestige, Senior Project Manager – Housing First England and Alex Smith, Project Manager – Housing First England delivering these modules to our new staff.


After a quick whistle-stop tour of the pilot, our partnership and operating context with myself and Izabela, our embedded researcher, Matt Kidd and members of our co-production panel introduced co-production, how co-production is involved with our pilot and role playing exercises to our group!


I concluded day one with a request that our new staff have a restful night as there was a lot of information coming their way in day two!


Our second day started with a guide to our ways of working, policies and procedures that all of our partners follow.


I was joined by my very own Debbie McGee, our data co-ordinator Charlotte who guided our audience through the referral process, accommodation process and finally our case management system, GMTHINK.


The afternoon saw the return of the role play activity and our co-production colleagues, this time delivering the hard hitting asset based approaches workshop that we commissioned them to develop and deliver for us last year.


After hearing our co-production colleagues’ stories of how deficit based approaches had impacted their own lives and what a difference asset based approaches has on people we ended day two.


Day three brought a different video calling platform along with two of our Dual Diagnosis Practitioners from Greater Manchester Mental Health trust to deliver sessions.


Following a few technical issues the practitioners spoke about their involvement in the pilot and the support that they offer to our frontline staff before delivering introductions to Harm Reduction and Trauma Informed Care.


As with all of the sessions over the three days the feedback was excellent and although the group haven’t met in person, a feeling of camaraderie was really apparent!

I’d like to thank our new starters for engaging so brilliantly with this virtual training and all of the people involved in delivering the sessions.


I’m hoping to get a second cohort of core inductions set up for September as we increase the pilot’s capacity further to support more people with Housing First in Greater Manchester.


But for all those who have just joined us - welcome aboard!

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