A STRETFORD man who along with his wife re-mortgaged their home to buy a base for the charity they founded has received the OBE.

Lenox Valentine Green was given the accolade for his community work at the Rainbow Christian Centre.

The award was made in the New Year Honours List and he said the news left him feeling ‘shocked’ and ‘overwhelmed.’ He said: “It’s a great honour to receive it and it’s great for the Centre to be receiving that publicity.”

Lenox hopes the exposure will open up other funding opportunities for what is a self-funded facility, based in Hulme.

The 49-year-old set up the Centre with his wife Heather, 54, and in the early days most of its work was with people battling drink and drug problems.

Lenox said while the Centre still offers these services but added that it also supports children and families and the homeless.

He said: “We took the decision about 10 years ago to re-mortgage our house and we bought a property ourselves and we use that as our base of operations.”

He was nominated for the honour by Manchester University, where he works as an admissions administrator for post-graduatte courses.

Lenox said the Centre’s work with the homeless includes providing them with food and clothes. But an equally important part of the work is lending these people a friendly, sympathetic ear.

He said: “I was with some of the homeless people that live on the streets of Manchester anf after we gave them food and drinks I sat next to one woman who began weeping, why? Because someone who does not really know her was listening and cared about her life.”

* The Rainbow Christian Centre, 25 Bronte Street, Hulme, Manchester.