Tell us a bit about yourself.
Gavin: We are a couple and we’ve been together for about seven years.
Carol: We first met at school. We went to the same special needs school together. We’re both 43.
Gavin: But I am 44 soon.
‘We’d also like to do some volunteer work in the future’
Where are you living at the moment?
G: We have a flat together in Liverpool but we can’t live there at the moment.
C: We’re getting harassed by a couple who have moved in next door. They have been targeting us. They said they were going to give us a good hiding and they threatened to take our phones off us. We have gone to the police and they advised us to move out. So we have been staying at a friend’s house. We have also been told to keep logs of everything they do.
Do you get any support with your special needs?
C: We don’t have support workers at the moment. We want them but it’s hard to get support. I went to the council but they said that because we can feed ourselves, wash ourselves and put clean clothes on we don’t get support. So we’ve just been left.
When we spoke in 2015 Gavin*, you had given up drinking and using cannabis. How’s that going?
G: I’m still off them. I’m off them for good now.
C: I was an alcoholic as well. I used to drink a lot. It was only when my mum said that if I didn’t stop she would have nothing to do
with me and I realised that I was killing myself. I have diabetes as well and drinking was very bad for me. I’ve been off it for about 10 years now.
G: We help each other to stay off the drink.
C: I know that if he has a slip then I might have one so we both stay away from it.
What are your plans for 2018?
G: We are going to get married in February.
C: And we hope to move as well, but we will have to wait until July before the housing association will find us somewhere.
G: We’d also like to do some volunteer work in the future.
What do you love about one another?
C: Gavin has been there for me. He was there for me when I lost my mum and my dad died last year and that was very rough. Gavin helped me through that.
G: There’s a lot I love about Carol.
C: I have helped him with his money. He used to have all his money and spend it all in one day but my mum taught me to keep some money back and I have helped Gavin to budget.
G: I also look after her because she has diabetes.
C: It’s good because I have someone caring for me and looking after me and just being there.
G: We look after one another.