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LETTER TO EDITOR: Revitalise share the love of some of their guests this Valentine’s day

February 12, 2021

At a time when there is seemingly much darkness in the world, I’d like to take a moment to share some special words with your readers from Revitalise. As an organisation who usually specialise in providing fantastic holidays and great times for disabled people and their carers, it will come as no surprise that our guest’s happiness means a great deal to us. That’s why, this Valentine’s Day, we want to share a few stories of love, which blossomed at our respite centres.

Finding love is something most of us hope for, but dating with a disability (or when you’re a busy carer) can be really challenging.

Carl Ashcroft and Tracey Stewart first met 15 years ago at Revitalise Sandpipers. They became friends and started to regularly coordinate their visits to the centre, before becoming a couple. In June 2015, we were delighted to witness a very special occasion as Carl took their relationship to the next level, proposing to Tracey at the place where it all began.

Carl said “I really wanted to be surrounded by friends when I asked for Tracey’s hand. Tracey was very surprised but thankfully she said “yes”. Then we had the last dance of the night together.”

“I am very happy”, said Carl to summarise, “so very happy”.

Mavis and Colin’s marriage dates back to 1960, having met at a dance hall and getting married before they were even 18. Mavis became ill with Multiple Sclerosis and Colin cared for her full time, until he was diagnosed with dementia. Mavis said she missed all the things they did before Colin’s dementia got worse and was always wondering when it would be that Colin wouldn’t recognise her.

She said I didn’t know anywhere like Revitalise existed where so much was done to make a break so enjoyable. At Revitalise Colin had been getting up and talking to people, something he hasn’t done for a long time.

“The fun and the laughter was exactly what we needed to get back to who we used to be. We look after each other. We have been married 57 years and are best friends, lovers and partners. Revitalise was just the icing on the cake of our life together so far.”

Revitalise are still welcoming disabled people and carers to Revitalise Sandpipers in Merseyside, for those that have not not been able to access a respite break for nearly a year due to the pandemic. We have funding available and can also provide transport across the country. Anyone who feels they could benefit from our support, only needs to ask.

Devon Prosser, Revitalise  

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