'I want new grandparents in my family'

Mike Swanson with his daughters
Mike Swanson with his daughters
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A 40-year-old Leyland man wants to adopt new grandparents.

Businessman Mike Swanson made an emotive public appeal after feeling there was something badly missing in his life.

Mike became known as the spokesperson for the Roussos family following the Manchester Arena bombing on May 22, 2017.

Leyland youngster Saffie Roussos, eight, was killed in the terror attack and family friend Mike helped the Roussos family as they tried to come to terms with their grief.

He himself was deeply touched by the tragedy.

He revealed: “When the Saffie thing happened I only got in contact with my grandmother after twenty years. We hit it off but a short time after she died.”

He describes his unusual search as “a really wild one” but says he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received.

“I never really grew up with a family – my parents were useless,” revealed Mike, who said he lost all his family many years ago.

He added that he had never been able to give his children – two girls, Lily 12 and Grace 10 – “the traditional lives they deserve”.

Mike said he was on holiday with friends when the adoption idea first came to him.

He says he has a fantastic family but that he wanted “things to change”.

He posted his intentions on social media.

“Quite a number of people have texted me,” said Mike, who said one Leyland couple, aged 63 and 53 had already been in touch with him, with an interest in taking up his offer.

“I’m going to go round for coffee and stuff like that, and test the water,” said Mike.

Mike said he wanted to make this work for others, too.

“It saddens us to see that there are seniors out there that are lonely or missing something like we do.

“Anyone that can help set this up, any ideas or wish to help, get involved, please get in contact.”

Age UK offers a ‘befriending, service.

It said: “One of the ways you can help is by volunteering to befriend an older person in your area. When you volunteer to befriend in your community, you will be matched by your local Age UK with an older person, who you will visit in their home or call to offer friendly regular conversation while building lasting companionship. Once matched you will usually be asked to call or visit the older person you are matched to on a regular basis regularly. This could involve a call or visit for around thirty minutes to an hour, every week, over a long period of time.”