A Manchester man with learning difficulties who says he longs to exchange letters with his children has vowed to achieve that goal by learning to read and write.
And with support from his care workers and the staff at Abraham Moss Community School, Graham Oddie is making great progress on the one-year course he started last September.
The 64-year-old who lives at Homeleigh, a supported living service in the Manchester suburb of Crumpsall run by the Regard Group, said that although the course is challenging and seems to get harder as he progresses, he is “…up to the challenge no matter how long it takes.”
Graham said “I’ve always wanted to learn to read and write but I never had the confidence to do this due to being a recovering alcoholic.
“In the past because of my dyslexia I have felt held back but with the support from the staff at Homeleigh and my tutors I don’t feel like that any more.”
The college is providing one-to-one support weekly for Graham’s dyslexia, and he is enjoying the company of the four other students on his course.
The class has now fully learnt the alphabet, how to write the days of the week and the months of the year, and they are working on how to fill in forms.
Graham was keen to credit staff who work at Homeleigh for the support they give him.
He said: “They are always helping me make the most of opportunities in the community and at home which all goes to make me a more confident person, and if I didn’t have that support from staff or the place I call home I wouldn’t have got this far.”
This support has also enabled Graham to secure a regular volunteering position he loves at the British Heart Foundation shop in Cheetham Hill, where he has been working since March 2018.
When his current course finishes Graham aims to enroll on a higher level for English, and after he has fully completed all English levels he intends to move on to maths and basic computer skills.
Craig Sullivan, service manager at Homeleigh, said: “We are so proud of Graham and the way he is rising to the challenge of mastering literacy as an adult – such an amazing achievement.
“He also continues to contribute to making Homeleigh a happy and vibrant place to live, actively helping around the home and always ready with a listening ear whenever any of his house-mates wish to share.”
Homeleigh is run by Regard, the UK’s third largest private care provider, which supports people with learning disabilities nationwide to live a full and active life, always 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 five individual rooms on the first and second floors with shared facilities.