Fresh start with Fresh Living

Salford apprentice Lee Burke has moved into his first ever home after taking part in Fresh Living, a programme which enables people from a range of challenging backgrounds to work towards a fresh start in life.

The project, developed by ForHousing, sees people who have been identified by local agencies take part in a six-month training programme before starting an apprenticeship with firms building new homes in Salford.

Each week part of their wage is ‘banked’, to help them save towards moving into one of the homes.

Lee, 21, says Fresh Living has transformed his life and now can’t wait to move into a new home with his girlfriend and two-year-old son Bobby-Lee.

“We’ll finally be a proper family,” said Lee. “That’s what moving in to the house means to me. I never thought it’d be possible to get a fresh start like this.”

Lee grew up on Salford’s Langworthy estate and was expelled from school before two spells in young offenders’ institutes.

“I was kicked out of school early,” he explains. “I was hanging around with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble. I was a bad lad and I didn’t have any qualifications.

Lee is now in the second year of a bricklaying apprenticeship with Mulbury Homes, and splits his time between working on projects in Salford and studying at college.

“Fresh Living is the best decision I ever made,” Lee said. “I’ve gone from very limited options to having a career and now a home”.