Heywood media frenzy hits Chez Doreen


An unassuming flat in Heywood became the centre of a minor media frenzy this week. BBC Radio Manchester’s Breakfast Show broadcast live from the living room of Doreen Fairclough (78) over coffee and croissants, and were followed closely by a reporter from national newspaper The Guardian.

Just as the coffee cups were being cleared up the BBC 1’s Right on the Money show got in touch to see if they could come along and make a short film.

 If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, Doreen explains “I was the very first person to do Homeshare around here. I needed some help after being in a care home following a fall, and my Homesharer, Anouck from Paris, needed a place to live so she could learn English better”.

Anouck moving in allowed Doreen to achieve her dream of going back to her old life at home. It was also the start of a beautiful friendship. They go to bingo and singing group together. Doreen, who has lived all of her life just three miles from the amazing Rochdale Town Hall, had never been inside. She has now, after Anouck arranged an outing, and she was thrilled to see it.

Though she has never been abroad, Doreen is now lapping up French cuisine made by Anouck and has just applied for her very first passport. The pair are jetting off to Madrid to talk about the benefits of Homesharing.

For the PossAbilities Homeshare team which runs the scheme, this is the first of many ‘matches’ that they will be making across Greater Manchester. Loneliness can have the same effect on health as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day and often people with a spare room could do with just a little support.

If you have a spare room and would welcome some support or you need a place to live and would be willing to give some social support in return, you can contact the Homeshare Team at homeshare@possabilities.org.uk or call 01706 626747.