Meet Jonathan

 Getting the best out of people is key to inclusion.

One of the roles that Midland Heart undertakes is to ensure that people in challenging situations are given homes with extra support. That extra support is about getting the best out of people, something that Jonathan Greenwood knows well.

Jonathan, Inclusion Services Manager at Saltbrook Place, has been with Midland Heart for nearly five years and in that time, he has overseen the transformation of Dudley’s homeless accommodation from a dated building unfit for purpose to a brand new state of the art facility with a string of happy residents.

Jonathan said: “I knew the role would be something I enjoy, get a lot out of, and I could make a difference. I’ve worked in housing for 30 years; 20 of those in supported housing. I’ve always worked at jobs that are a challenge, but it is rewarding to be the person making the change so you can guide the staff, residents and the service through that change. Like working your way through a puzzle.

Saltbrook Place is built around a community, both residents and staff working together. This means that the staff and the residents can both make the difference.

“We make a significant difference to the residents. We are there to be the little push in the right direction for them to be able to help themselves. It is about, day after day, giving them encouragement. Almost a drip feed to change and encourage them to ask us for help.

“We have a service focussed on the resident. Part of that is being able to challenge behaviour that has created barriers for them. I think that doing the preventative stuff early is important, but it can take time for people who have been in systems that have not made them feel valued as people.

“Many have 30 or 40 years of behavioural habit and so change is rarely going to happen in five minutes. It is about realistic steps to achieving and offering opportunities, such as our Events group on a Friday morning, for them to get involved and being part of bringing change.

“What we are here to do is start momentum of positive steps. Many of these people have been measured by what they can’t do, whereas we want to look at what they can offer, what are their strengths.”

Jonathan has to bring the best out of the residents and make sure that his staff are supported as well.

He said:

It’s about leadership for me. I understand that what I do other people will be looking at. It is about being positive and showing enthusiasm, and even when it has been a tough day for me, being available for others who are having a tough time.

- Jonathon Greenwood - Inclusion Services Manager at Saltbrook Place

"When I look back on the last four and a half years it has been an interesting journey. The relationship with our local stakeholders has been turned around. We have a great building and have put together a good staff team. There is a satisfaction in knowing that I have been able to make a difference in Dudley.”