What does it mean when people with learning disabilities tell us they want to have strong and supported relationships?
For Lulu and Mike, it means having enough support that they can enjoy all the things they like to do together, and apart too, but with enough independence to live life as a couple on their own terms.
After falling in love, Lulu and Mike took an important step seven years ago. They got married. They celebrated with their family and friends at Stanmer House before honeymooning on a European cruise, enjoying Italy and Spain. That’s the first circle of support – family and friends recognising Lulu and Mike’s commitment to one another.
And with more support from Grace Eyre and other services in the city, the couple live independently in their own flat. They enjoy home-life, cooking, and popping to the local cafés. And they ‘do their own thing’ too, important in any relationship, ‘Mike goes running and I prefer walking and swimming’, says Lulu.
Lulu comes to Grace Eyre frequently and recently has been learning more about Money Skills. Now, she puts these skills into practice at the Grace Eyre Art Studio, where Lulu works alongside her colleagues putting up artwork and serving customers. Mike not only has a job in retail but he also volunteers his time in a local charity shop.
So life is busy! But you always see Mike and Lulu socialising together and with their friends. They are living life to the full and helping others in their community too. The couple have just celebrated ‘strong and supported relationships’ for all by taking part in Brighton Pride.