Robert and Carolyn’s story
Leading Hampshire-based disability charity Enham Trust supports over 8,500 disabled and disadvantaged people across the country to live lives of choice, control and independence; providing housing, care, and employment & skills provisions to enable individuals to make the transition towards greater social and economic independence.
Listening to, and understanding the individual circumstances of, our beneficiaries is a vital component of our work; allowing us to develop plans that are both personal and relevant.
Our Direct Payments service supports clients to make direct payments, budget their finances accordingly, and recruit and employ their own Personal Assistants.
Putting the control back into the hands of our clients and empowering them to live independently and manage their own money, we provide payroll administration support and the management of accounts through our Personal Budget Support Service.
For Robert and Caroline, a couple from Somerset, Enham Trust’s Direct Payments service has bought them closer together and has enabled Robert to gain his first job in 8 years.
Here, Robert tells their story:
“After my wife, Carolyn, was diagnosed with MS, I looked after her completely on my own,” Robert explains. “I had no help at all from anyone and I was exhausted. Both of us were only getting 2 or 3 hours sleep a night, and we had no equipment to help us with things like getting up the stairs; I had to literally drag her across the landing when she wanted to go to the toilet!"
“I was stressed and anxious; we used to dread bed time! And, after I had a heart attack at the end of July last year, a Social Worker put us in touch with Enham Trust’s Direct Payments service."
“I was the main carer for my wife before; it was a really horrible period of time. Having 24/7 responsibility to care for someone is difficult, but now that we have 2 Personal Assistants – 1 during the week and 1 at weekends – things are a lot better."
“We really benefit from the service – when you’re letting someone into your home, they have to be someone you like and someone you trust. And I know my wife is in safe hands with her PAs, whenever I have to go out. Having relief is amazing."
“Enham Trust’s Direct Payments service has enabled me to work again. I’ve taken a part time job, which starts soon. It’s only on a Saturday with a local Estate Agent, but it’s something I’d never dreamt of being able to do again - I gave up working 8 years ago to care for Carolyn."
“We can laugh together, again; we’re enjoying each other, and it means a lot. We love each other."
“We’d go mad without Direct Payments! There’s light at the end of the tunnel now."
For more information about Enham Trust and the services offered, please visit: www.enhamtrust.org.uk/our-services
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