AN 82-YEAR-OLD man with special care needs has been told he may become homeless after September 30.

Charles Browning lives in Holehird Care Home in Windermere and has been looked after by registered charity Leonard Cheshire for 45 years.

But, after 12 years in Holehird the much-loved uncle, who was paralysed in a car accident in 1969, has been told he faces eviction.

The move comes as Leonard Cheshire hopes to sell Holehird to fellow care company St Gregory's based in Carnforth.

Mr Browning's niece, Julie Browning, fears that if a takeover of the home is unsuccessful her uncle will be left with nowhere to go.

She said: “My uncle is piggy-in-the-middle.

“Leonard Cheshire has been his life and he’s been really happy there. What upsets me more than anything is that they are using the closure of Holehird as an excuse to chuck him out.”

Bosses at the charity say they are looking at the best solutions for the 'small number' of remaining residents.

Mr Browning, who previously lived in Rochdale, was always helpful to those he knew and when his neighbours asked him to drive them to Wales on August 30, 1969, he didn’t hesitate. On the way back, however, he was involved in a collision with another car and taken to hospital unconscious.

Julie said: “As a little girl, I remember having to go to Wales and all going and holding his hand and talking to him. He was told that he’d never come out of a coma.”

He was in that coma for nine months. When he eventually awoke, the doctors told his family he was fully paralysed on his right-hand side. While he regained the functions of his brain, his body would never be fully usable again.

He is independently-minded, but can’t operate an electric wheelchair or cut his own food and scar tissue around his neck from his hospital treatment means that he is at risk of choking when he eats.

“I can’t believe how they’ve treated my uncle,” Julie said. “They refuse to move him to another one of their homes.”

While she was critical of how her uncle’s situation has been dealt with, she appreciates the care he’s received.

“He’s been happy and they’ve been good to him,” she said. “I’ve always had a good relationship with the manager, Alan. He’s always phoned me if he felt there was anything wrong. I wouldn’t be fighting so hard to keep him there if I wasn’t happy with the quality of care. Holehird is very important to his mental wellbeing as well as his care needs.

“But I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. It’s so demoralising, what’s happening, I feel like it can’t be happening to just us.”

The closure of Holehird has yet to be confirmed. The Westmorland Gazette reported in June that an offer had been made by St Gregory’s Homecare to take over. A final decision was expected on July 8 but neither St Gregory’s or Leonard Cheshire could confirm whether the deal was still going ahead.

Julie added: “I was hoping that St Gregory’s would come in and even though Leonard Cheshire are trying to get us to move him I feel like they just want to get rid of him.

“Hopefully we can save Holehird.”

A spokesman for Leonard Cheshire said: “We recognise that this is a difficult situation for Charles. Our focus remains on securing the best outcome for him and the small number of residents who have not yet found new homes.

“Working with the funding authority, we are confident that we can we can arrive at a good result for Charles in the coming weeks, finding a suitable placement that meets his needs and one which he is happy with.”