Gr8 Mates get engaged
Simon and Dawn met as members of the Gr8 Mates friendship project. Simon remembers “when we bought our engagement rings, the minute I had Dawn’s, I went down on one knee and proposed to Dawn in the shop...”
They would not have met without Gr8 Mates as they live in different towns, and access different services. Simon is a quiet man who enjoys music, particularly the Now albums. At his referral meeting he described himself as “just an ordinary person looking for the right person”. Dawn is quiet until you get to know her, with a smile that brightens the room and really enjoys getting out the house for coffee or lunch as well as listening to pop music.
Simon had been widowed previously and had also been in a controlling relationship. Simon has a diagnosis of autism. Dawn had also been widowed previously and subsequently been in an abusive relationship. Dawn has cerebral palsy.
Simon had been single for a few months before he signed up with Gr8 Mates and Dawn had been single for three years following the end of her abusive relationship. While they were both single, they had not particularly been looking to meet someone. Dawn had recently moved to the area and was looking to make some new friends; this was why she joined Gr8 Mates. Simon had been recommended to join Gr8 Mates by his day services manager.
When Dawn had her referral meeting our project co-ordinator noted that she shared similar interests to Simon and told Dawn that there was a member of Gr8 Mates with similar interests and that they may get on well. Dawn is keen to point out that the project co-ordinator didn’t mention any names at this point. The first Simon knew of this was at an event when the project co-ordinator asked him to talk to Dawn, saying that they had interests in common. Dawn says “at an event the project co-ordinator asked a man to come and talk to me for a bit. My support worker told me that this was the member that I had been told about at my referral meeting.” “I liked him when I met him”.
Simon was aware that the Gr8 Mates safety guidelines said that they weren’t allowed to swap phone numbers straight away. But after meeting each other, both Simon and Dawn were keen to swap their numbers. The project co-ordinator reminded them that was against Gr8 Mates rules. The project co-ordinator and Simon spoke regularly about Dawn and her potential interest in him, as did Dawn and her support workers. It was negotiated between the two of them about how and when to text, and how long is reasonable to wait for a reply and eventually with the support of Dawn’s support worker they swapped phone numbers and “I’ve been texting her ever since”. Simon says, “we have so many things in common”. Dawn agrees, “when we swapped numbers, I knew that he would text me and he did! We now text and see each other whenever we can.”
Simon and Dawn are busy planning their future together. With the help from Dawn’s support workers they will be staying in a hotel for Valentine's Day and are planning to get married next year, with an official engagement in July. They have already chosen and purchased their engagement rings, Simon remembers “when we bought our engagement rings, the minute I had Dawn’s, I went down on one knee and proposed to Dawn in the shop. Everyone in the shop said congratulations”.
Both Simon and Dawn told our project co-ordinator “we’re so happy and we thank you, without Gr8 Mates this would never have happened”.
This blog was shared by Fizz Heseltine, from Living it up
The views expressed in the Supported Loving blog are not necessarily those of Choice Support.