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Real Stories: Couple in 80s who have dedicated their lives to helping young people in need

Photo: Real Stories

Tonight, Michael Underwood meets a remarkable couple who’ve opened their home, and their hearts, to hundreds of young people in need.

Terry and Ann Panks are no ordinary octogenarians - their work has changed countless lives.

Right now, they look after nine young men. They all live together in a converted police station in Wythenshawe, Manchester. The house - called Copperdale - is technically a hostel - but it’s more like a big family home.

Every evening Terry and Ann cook a meal for those staying with them. But in addition to ensuring they eat well - they provide much more: compassion, stability, understanding, and a sense of belonging.

Over nearly 40 years, it’s thought that they’ve provided a home for more than a thousand young people. Some are there because of problems at home, a few are in trouble with the law, all are desperate for help.

Credit: Real Stories

Ann and Terry’s work is not easy: over the years they’ve had to deal with drugs, weapons and violence in their home. Terry was attacked by one resident, while Ann has had precious jewellery stolen - including her wedding ring.

But these unfortunate events haven’t put them off. Rather, they see the hostel as something they were destined to do. The motivation is simple, says Ann:

We were meeting young people that had never known love; had never been given the chance to experience love, and you can’t give back what you’ve never had. And this is the motivation really...we were loved. This is what we try to give back to young people who perhaps never had that.”

– Ann

Watch the video below to see what is to come in tonight’s episode of Real Stories.

Don’t miss Real Stories with Ranvir Singh on ITV at 7:30pm as Michael Underwood meets the extraordinary couple who’ve dedicated their lives to helping young people with nowhere else to go. Let us know your thoughts using #RealStories on social media.

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