Terri sets her sights on handing over first-ever properties single-handed

This week is special for Midland Heart customers collecting the keys to the first homes released at Great Bowden – as well as for the development team’s newest recruit.


Midland Heart’s newest project development manager is flying solo this week and handing over the keys to her first-ever batch of customers singlehandedly.

The properties at Berry Close, Great Bowden, Market Harborough are also the first to be completed on the small development of 21 maisonettes and houses.

Terri McDonald joined the housing association as an apprentice project manager with the development team in 2018, but just eight months into the apprenticeship landed a permanent role.

“I am handing over my first-ever new homes at our Berry Close development, rather than assisting a project manager with the process. I’m so excited about flying solo,” said Terri.

The Berry Close site is being developed with partner Redrow and comprises 13 homes for affordable rent and eight for shared ownership. The development is due for completion this summer.

This week customers are picking up the keys to two shared ownership houses and next week four maisonettes at affordable rent are scheduled for release.

Terri is also project managing the final stages of 10 Midland Heart homes at Back Lane, Long Lawford, near Rugby with handovers expected at the end of the month.

Previously a legal disrepair surveyor, Terri was keen for a career change and to return to the West Midlands where she was born.

“I had heard about Midland Heart and seen signposts on buildings across the area where I lived, and I had worked also for a local authority, so I knew quite a bit about the housing association,” she explained. “When I saw this role, which was quite different to being a legal disrepair surveyor, I thought it looked such fun!

“When I first applied to do an apprenticeship it was because I wanted to use the skills that I already had within construction and develop them so I was able to take on a new role.

“I took a massive pay cut to do it but knew it wouldn’t be forever and that I would come out with valuable experience. Never in a million years did I think eight months into my apprenticeship I would be offered a permanent role!”

As an apprentice, Terri had the opportunity to experience both pre and post development activities and processes. She also got to shadow the team’s quality manager, visit a factory that builds modular houses, undertake defect training, visit customers with repair issues, attend site meetings, and assist with handovers “where we meet very happy customers to give them the keys to their new home!”