Changing lives Langdon style

Lord Grade and Langdon's Mark Tish

Lord Grade and Langdon's Mark Tish

The life-changing work of Langdon was highlighted at the educational charity’s dinner at London’s Grosvenor House on Monday, where Lord Grade was the guest of honour and which raised £410,000.

Langdon helps young adults with mild-to-moderate learning difficulties and chairman Barry Welck told the 420 guests: “Until Langdon started, there was no provision for this group of people in the Jewish community. Now we have helped 80 per cent of our Langdon community to find employment.”

Mr Welck’s son, Daniel, 32, was the first Langdon resident. He said that of his two sons, “Daniel has probably achieved more — and the other son is a surgeon”.

Mr Welck gave details of the new Langdon learning service, which will provide its 200 users with online education in life skills. As well as residential houses and employment services, the organisation also runs a Manchester college and a London social club for teens.

Addressing diners, Lord Grade said: “The Jewish people really know what it means to help others.” And Langdon residents showed they were making the most of the opportunity to help themselves. James Manton, 29, said: “Before I was at Langdon, life wasn’t very good because people used to bully me. Now I go out to socialise and make friends.”

BBC news presenter and Langdon fan Emily Maitlis spoke to a panel of residents about their day-to-day lives. Shoshi Finn, who works as a class assistant, told her: “Without Langdon I would have been very shy and I wouldn’t have gone very far.” Ms Finn’s mother Amanda said: “Twenty-one years ago, a paediatrician told my husband and I that our daughter was unlikely to make her needs known to us and would probably not be able to look after herself. Last year, our daughter became engaged to the wonderful Edward, a student at Langdon College.”

Last updated: 11:45am, April 29 2013