Meeting a very special person to spend time with is something most people look for and hope to find. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of that journey to find love and affection. For some finding a meaningful and caring relationship is just a dream and for many of the people served by ubu the barriers and challenges they face can make it even harder.
Sarah from Lincoln in the East Midlands is enabled to live with greater independence by ubu and last summer she chose to join a group of people who were looking forward to enjoying a holiday together in North Yorkshire. The ‘Summer Spectacular Holiday’ was organised and subsidised by ubu at Sneaton Castle, a fantastic residential holiday site over-looking the sea-side town of Whitby.
“I had been really excited about going away on holiday, to get together with friends and meet some new ones too…” says Sarah. What she didn’t expect was that she might meet someone who she could be more than just a friend to.
It can be hard to find love and affection especially if the society in which you live has negative beliefs and disapproving stereotyped attitudes towards vulnerable people who are looking for romantic relationships.
“I had a great time in Whitby, made so much better when I met Francis who comes from West Yorkshire where he also lives independently, like me, enabled by ubu. He asked me to dance at our ABBA disco evening on the first evening of our holiday…” The rest, as they say, is history. “From then on we were inseparable. We hardly left each other’s side for the rest of the holiday. It was just wonderful to find someone, my lovely new boyfriend Francis, to share the days with and to be happy and laugh a lot”.
All too soon it was time to leave and return home. Sarah felt a bit sad and Francis was wondering what how things might work out for them in the future. “When we had to say goodbye I cried but Francis was lovely and said he knew we would see each other again. So we swapped phone numbers and said we would call each other when we got home”. Since then Sarah and Francis have spoken to each other on the phone almost every evening. Sarah says “The ubu enabling team have been very supportive and they have helped us to arrange to meet up when we want to, every few weeks”.
“We have been taking it in turns to get together closer to each other’s homes. Not long ago I took my foster mum to meet Francis in Leeds. She was very impressed with how lovely and considerate he was and how well we get on together”.
Sarah and Francis’ beautiful story shows that relationships can be nurtured, grow and flourish, despite difficulties and distance. “We love spending time together” says Sarah, “and we feel like it was the best kind of fate that we met that first day on holiday. We’ve made each other’s lives so much happier and I can’t wait for our next trip together”.