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“I like to get out and about and be spontaneous. I need my independence and freedom,” explains 40-year-old Sarah Henley, who has cerebral palsy.
Sarah came to Trinity because on a purely practical note, she needed a live-in carer who could drive. But the team soon clocked that what Sarah really needed was not just a driver – but someone who would also enjoy the ride. For high energy Sarah needed a carer who likes an adventure as much as she does.
Born with cerebral palsy – as her father Tim puts it: “She had a pretty traumatic start in life,” adding, “Quite often, if people hear I have a handicapped daughter, they might say how awful for you, or how awful it must have been and in many ways it’s actually enriched my life to see the progress she has made over the years. She leads such a busy life and fits in as much as possible.”
Certainly Sarah has seen more of the world than most. As she says: “When my sister was younger and off backpacking, I said to mum – I wish I could go.” And so travelling the four corners of the globe became her goal. She’s visited Australia – not once but twice, New Zealand, South Africa, the States and all over Europe. “I’m very lucky, “ she says. “I’ve been able to go to more countries than most of my friends. I try and do most things an able bodied person does.”
And this philosophy has been there right from the start. Her school, as Sarah puts it “was for independent living but not for people like me…you could look out the window and see countryside and sheep for miles but I said no, no, no mum – I’m not living here!” The answer was not residential care but live-in. Having someone living with Sarah means she can be in her own flat, and do all the things that residential care simply couldn’t provide. She has the freedom and choice to live her own life.
“Mum always told me to build a big life for myself.”
And with carers living with her at home – that’s exactly what she’s done.
Every day, she’s out about – attending meetings, physio appointments; painting classes; swimming; bowling and then there are all those lunches with friends and family.
The Trinity team knew it was important to find just the right kind of carer, so Sarah could continue her adventures – and they found it in Perth born Sarah Brown.
Arriving in the UK keen for travel and exploring, Sarah B was the perfect match for Sarah H. She is also an extremely experienced carer, having worked with a wide variety of people with different needs. This means she easily understands the practical necessities of the job and took to the Trinity Homecare training with ease. But the Trinity team also had a hunch that the two of them would simply hit it off. And they were right.
As Sarah says about her carer: “She is so much fun. We can have a joke together and although we’re often laughing, I can also talk to her about anything. But the best thing about Sarah, is she is always up for getting out and about.”
That’s for sure. Next month, the two Sarah’s are off skiing in Europe. And then it will be back for much party planning for Sarah H’s 40th birthday celebrations!