Michael's story


Michael is an Advance Housing customer who grew up in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire. He has happy memories of his father taking him to watch Headington United (forerunners of Oxford United). Michael's father built him a box to stand on so he could see over the heads of the crowd. A lifelong Oxford United supporter ever since - his living room is painted yellow in honour of his favourite team.

Leaving school at 15, Michael went to work as apprentice storeman in Oxford. He married in 1973 and had a son and daughter. In 1974 he got a job as a taxi driver, enjoying the freedom that it gave him.

A car accident in 1980 left Michael in a coma for 9 weeks. Returning from hospital to live with his parents, Michael had suffered life-changing injuries. Unable to climb stairs, he lived in a caravan at his Mum and Dad's for 18 months, before moving into an adapted flat with support from Advance in 1982.

Shortly after moving Michael got a dog, who he named Samantha. She was his constant companion for 13 years.

This was the start of Michael's long-term interest in dogs. There are pictures of every breed of dog decorating his flat and he supports the work of the Dogs Trust, recently completing a tricycle challenge to raise funds for them.

A big music fan, Michael likes to make up quizzes about the music and musicians from the 60s and 70s. He is an avid listener of Tony Blackburn's Sunday evening show on Radio Oxford.

Despite his physical challenges Michael lives a largely independent life, needing very little support. He is a well-known local character, and although he is a wheelchair user at home he manages to get out to the shops in nearby Rose Hill and Cowley on his tricycle.

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