The last few weeks have been out of this world for science fiction fan Peter Makar, who has come face-to-face with some of his favourite stars.
Peter, who lives at the Homeleigh residential care home in Crumpsall, Manchester, not only saw the latest Star Wars movie on the big screen, but also got to see some of his favourite characters in person.
Peter, who has recently celebrated his 52nd birthday, attended the ‘For The Love Of Sci-Fi’ event at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford Park.
Guests included Star Trek’s legendary Captain Kirk, alias actor William Shatner, alongside a galaxy of other stars from the worlds of science fiction and cult television. But it was the stormtroopers from Star Wars that particularly caught Peter’s attention, as they are among his favourite characters of all.
Peter, who has mental health difficulties, has been a lifelong fan of science fiction and staff at Homeleigh, a service run by the Regard Group, have been supporting his love of all things sci-fi - so much so that Peter’s room at Homeleigh has been described as being more like a science fiction museum than a bedroom.
Peter said he really enjoyed his visit to the recent event at Trafford Park, and particularly liked seeing fellow enthusiasts dressed up as their favourite characters.
He said: “There were stormtroopers everywhere, plus Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Jedi.”
Senior support worker Ian Murdoch said: “Peter has a huge science-fiction collection, of between 400 and 500 pieces altogether; including action figures, spaceships and helmets - which he tends to keep for display rather than wear himself.”
Ian has been supporting Peter for eight years, and admitted that he had not been a particular fan of sci-fi himself – until he met Peter.
“I have definitely become more of a fan now,” he said.
“When I first met Peter, I had never been to a convention, and nor had he. But I soon found out about his love of science fiction and when I learned about fan events close to where we are, I thought Peter might like to go.
“We’ve been to quite a few conventions now over the years, and we have enjoyed going together.
“Peter had a great time at the event at Trafford Park. He enjoyed seeing William Shatner, David Hasselhoff, as well as Batman and all the stormtroopers. He came back with even more items to add to his collection.”
Peter’s next sci-fi fix came on Christmas Day, when he watched the special festive episode of Doctor Who, another big favourite of his. He said he really enjoyed the episode, and has given his own thumbs up to Jodie Whittaker, who took over the role of the Doctor from Peter Capaldi at the end of the adventure.
Ian’s support for Peter, and his own growing love of science fiction, reinforces the Homeleigh approach of helping people to live full and active lives, promoting independence. People living there are continuously encouraged and supported to reach their full potential, and Ian said he has been delighted to share Peter’s love of all things sci-fi.
The Regard Group is the UK’s fourth largest private organisation providing supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury, caring for more than 1,300 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,600 people working at 161 locations throughout the UK.
Families or individuals wishing for more information should contact Diane Carole on 07984 736 457