Transitions: Meet Martin & Lizzy
Moving in together is the culmination of a fantastic journey for Lizzie and Martin.
The couple have had many hurdles to overcome, but with the support and choices offered at Enham Trust they have become engaged to be married, and have moved through the care home system to live together in their own village home.
Dreams do come true
Lizzie: “It’s the closing of one chapter and the start of another – life with Martin.”
Martin: “We all have pipe dreams that are not going to be met. I prove that dreams do come true.”
39 year old Martin and 38 year old Lizzie battle debilitating health conditions. Martin was born with cerebral palsy, while Lizzie lives with Hydrocephalus (water on the brain) which has led to a number of major operations and difficulty with walking.
Martin lived at home until coming to live in fully supported care at Enham 12 years ago. Martin: “If I’d not left home I would have stayed in one room and not done anything with my life.”
Lizzie had a happy home life, but a shocking experience of trying to live within the wider community. Lizzie: “I was hurt by someone I knew, which knocked me for six, especially my confidence. My Dad died and I worried what would happen if something then happened to my Mum.“
Doors have opened
Her social worker suggested Enham and Lizzie moved into a Weston Court bungalow, which gave her independence within a caring community.
Since I’ve been at Enham doors have been flying open. I’ve met a lovely fella and found romance, I broadcast on our social enterprise station Radio Enham, I help children learn to read at the village primary school and have a work placement in a bookshop.
Martin: “I’m part of the Radio Enham production team too and I have a volunteer placement with our gardening team.”
Lizzie: “Without Enham I would still have been stuck in a day centre with fewer opportunities. I wanted to be an actress, but I never dreamed of going into broadcasting”
Person Centred Planning
The couple have embraced the concept of Person Centre Planning (PCP), introduced at Enham Trust to put decision making firmly in the hands of their disabled clients.
Martin and Lizzie now create individual life plans and ‘own’ the paths their lives take, fully supported by Enham.
It is hard for anyone who hasn’t faced barriers like Martin and Lizzie to understand just how hard it is to build enough confidence to move from supported care to living independently within the wider community – especially for Martin.
The couple have now made that journey. They’ve moved into a beautiful modern bungalow in Enham Alamein village.
It’s been scary coming from a care home, not having someone on tap to help, but I had to do it for me and Lizzie. I didn’t want someone going past my door all the time. But it was a big decision. - Martin
Lizzie: “We are now in control of our lives. I see a real difference in Martin. He’s happier now we’re together. As a pair we support each other in the Enham journey – especially Martin who’s been in full care for so long.”
We’ve had a whole new lease of life since the PCP changes. You’ve got to get out and try things. Things don’t come on a plate. We’ve been through difficult times to end up in a good place.