Carrie lives independently in Middlesbrough enabled by ubu. Last year she told us how important it is to her that she now lives with greater independence than she once had. Since then, Carrie has been attending a regular Monday and Thursday drama group, it’s called Earth Beat in Middlesbrough. This is something that Carrie has always wanted to do and since moving into her own home, her confidence has increased and she is able to enjoy performing in a group with other people.
Earth Beat is a theatre company consisting of 84 adults, most of whom have a learning disability or behavioural difficulties. The theatre company provide a service that has a range of activities designed to give people a sense of purpose and teach and encourage independence. Carrie went along one Monday and noticed a new chap there, Anthony who lives nearby, and also independently. Anthony caught Carries eye and from the beginning Carie says “I knew Anthony was just my type!” Carrie felt that she just had to pluck up the courage to talk to him. “I knew that I needed to ask him if perhaps he felt the same way as I did and if he did, could we get to know each other better?”
At the time the theatre group was rehearsing for a performance of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. One afternoon, after a rehearsal for the forthcoming show, Carrie picked up the courage to speak to Anthony. “I asked him if he would like to get to know me more and because I could tell right away from his big smile that he did, I asked him if we could go out together and become boyfriend and girlfriend?” Anthony didn’t hesitate for a moment and said he felt just the same! “I was over the moon!” says Carrie. “I have never felt so sure of anything in my life before”.
During the past 12 months their relationship has blossomed and grown and they realised that they had fallen, head-over-heels in love! A few days ago and with Valentine’s Day in mind, Anthony thought he would surprise Carrie with the words which every person in love wants to hear! He told Carrie he loved her and asked if she would marry him…Carrie was overwhelmed at first but then she says she felt ecstatic and said “Yes, I will!”
The happily couple wasted no time in telling their families and friends about their engagement and they were also over the moon with the news too! Carrie and Anthony wanted to celebrate with both their families. They decided they would arrange a special meal with everyone at their favourite restaurant ‘Uno Momento’, which is a romantic Italian restaurant in Stokesley, Middlesbrough.
They wanted to make it a very special occasion and Carrie, with some help from her ubu enabling team, organised a beautiful engagement cake to be made, and they even had a picture of Anthony and Carrie printed in edible ink on top! Carrie also bought a special helium-filled ‘Engagement’ balloon to decorate the table along with the cake.
The couple agreed it would be lovely to book the meal for Valentine’s Day just to make it that bit more romantic! Anthony and Carrie had both been out to buy each other engagement rings, and planned to exchange them during the meal. The table was booked, the cake was made, the balloon was up – they were ready to celebrate! They arrived at the restaurant and were joined by Carrie’s sister, Charmaine, Anthony’s sister Ann, and their mutual friend Mandy.
When the moment came to exchange their engagement rings, they both reached into their pockets and pulled out the shiniest and sparkliest silver rings you could imagine! As they put the rings on each other’s fingers they were both filled with happiness, smiling and joyful. Everyone, their families and friends were so happy for them and even more happy that they were happy!
Carrie and Anthony are now ready to follow the ‘yellow brick road’ to a lifetime together as a couple supporting each other with love and friendship! Carrie has taken charge of her personal journey since she first moved into her own home supported by ubu. She has started to take real control over her life and make decisions based on what she wants, rather than having to rely on other people to make choices for her.