James and Debbie enjoy the independence they have found at Enham Trust

Meet James & Debbie

It took just one date for Debbie to fall in love. They’ve been happily married a few years. Recently they fulfilled the final part of the dream – they moved into their own bungalow, cats and all! Their happy story of progression encapsulates precisely what Enham Trust is about.

Both James and Debbie were born with cerebral palsy which affects them to different degrees. James, who’s 28, came to live in Michael House, one of Enham Trust’s residential care homes, several years ago. Debbie, who’s 30, followed. The Trust prides itself on offering a breadth of support services which touch on every aspect of life for disabled people, and James has made the most ofthe opportunities here:

I’ve been on the Enham Partnership Board and have run a sign language group. Now I’d love to find some part-time work to top up our finances now we’ve moved.

New levels of independence

While both James and Debbie have achieved new levels of independence and confidence, neither dreamed they would also find the love of their life!

"When I first met Debbie three years ago, she was very shy. Now she’s bossing me around!" Laughs James. 

The devoted couple have a busy life together “We enjoy a bit of shopping, going to the arts and crafts group and to bowling. We watch a bit of TV in the evenings, and when finances allow we do like to go out for dinner,” they explain.

Supported living

While they were waiting for a supported living bungalow to become available at Enham’s Weston Court, the charity’s Client Services team organised adjacent bedsits at William House residential care home, so the couple could live as close together as possible.

Now, living together in their own home, life couldn’t be better. Says James:

It’s the fulfilment of a dream. I neverwould have thought I’d have this level of personal independence. My mum has sadly passed away, but if she saw this she’d say ‘you did the right thing’.

Tailored support

And for Debbie? With her husband by her side, and tailor made support packages from Enham Trust, Debbie has a new found confidence and enjoyment in life. James may do most of the talking, but Debbie is the driving force.

It’s the combination of support and services and flexibility here which has worked so well for us.

Explained James. “So far nobody has said ‘no’ to anything we’ve asked.”James and Debbie have a dedicated team of carers who help out with domestic duties and personal care, although James is learning to cook and makes an excellent bread and butter pud! Careful budgeting helps James and Debbie get by, though they’ve had to sacrifice any thought of a holiday to afford their own home. “But it’s been completely worth it,” says James.


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