Graham Oddie, who lives at Homeleigh, has secured himself a volunteer position at a British Heart Foundation shop has been the key to uncovering a fresh zest for life for a Manchester man with learning disabilities.
At the end of 2017 Graham Oddie was struggling to summon up a smile, but with the support of staff at the residential care home where he lives he decided to turn his life around, starting by applying for the BHF position.
Graham has been volunteering at the shop in Cheetham Hill three times a week since March, and feels that he is now a different man.
Lilian Kidd, service manager at Homeleigh where Graham lives, said:
“We are all so very proud of Graham, and how far he has come in such a short time. He is an inspiration to us all. Graham applied for this voluntary position on his own initiative because he wanted to give a helping hand to others in the community, and the team at Homeleigh has been behind him all the way. He does a lot of different things in the shop - helping staff organise the shopfloor, dealing with customer enquiries and managing stock. We’ve had lovely feedback about him. He’s naturally a very helpful and considerate person and always engages really well with the other people who live at Homeleigh, offering a listening ear if ever they are down or stressed, and helping their voices to be heard.”
Graham also helps his house-mates out with their cleaning and shopping, and is committed to looking after the environment, both inside Homeleigh and out in the community, promoting warmth and safety all round.
“Graham helps the staff at Homeleigh every day with a variety of tasks, observing all the appropriate cleanliness and hygiene standards and has a good understanding of health and safety rules. He enjoys prepping vegetables and other ingredients for house meals, managing food deliveries, helping distribute supplies around Homeleigh, and even taking care of the recycling and waste disposal. He also does all the gardening and litter picking around the premises, as well as out in the community.”
Graham was recently rewarded by the team at Homeleigh with a personalised certificate thanking him for his unflagging support.
His latest initiative was to enrol on a one year course at Abraham Moss Community School which will lead to a NVQ in literacy.
Homeleigh, which is run by the UK’s third largest private care provider the Regard Group, supports people with learning disabilities to live a full and active life, with emphasis on promoting independence and developing life skills, so that each person can reach their full potential.
Occupying a large Victorian, detached house in its own private gardens in the Manchester suburb of Crumpsall, Homeleigh offers spacious accommodation for 27 people over three floors. There are currently vacancies in three rooms on the first and second floors with shared facilities.
Families wanting more information should contact Guy Page on 07773 746614 or www.regard.co.uk
The award-winning Regard Group supports more than 1,300 people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injuries, employing a dedicated staff of over 2,600 people across 161 sites around the UK.