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Graham from Homeleigh finds a new zest for life


Securing 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 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.

Lilian added: “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 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.



Homeleigh is a substantial Victorian property providing registered residential care.

Specialism: Enduring Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and/or Autism.