Ivor who uses SLSW services and lives with Shared Lives Carers Rachel and Fran Bunce, is marrying Carol, who is also part of the household and is Rachel’s sister.
“Carol is a friendly person and I am shy. We bring the best out in each other,” said Ivor.
“Everybody likes Ivor. He’s clever and is very kind,” said Carol.
Thanks to being so well known in their local community, hundreds of people have already sent their well wishes on their engagement news on social media.
They have also already enjoyed a joint sten party at their day service, complete with balloons, decorations, food and personalised t-shirts.
More pre-celebrations are already being arranged with Ivor wanting a night out for his stag do and Carol wanting a hen do with food and dancing.
With just weeks to go, Carol and Ivor will marry on September 9 at Huntstile Organic Farm. The venue is where Carol grew up with her family, so holds a special place in her heart.
The couple met originally when they went to school together, but it wasn’t until many years later that they met again and love blossomed.
“Ivor moved in with us in July 2019 and we had a rogues gallery of photos as you come into the house. Straight away he pointed and said ‘I know her she’s called Carol’,” said Rachel.
“He explained they went to school together and I told him that Carol was my sister.”
Then during the pandemic, Carol who was living independently in Bridgwater, came to stay with Rachel and Fran as her support needs changed.
Over time, the temporary stay became permanent and her relationship with Ivor grew.
“They became companions and started doing a lot of things together,” said Rachel.
“Then one day on a Zoom meeting with Carol’s vicar, the vicar said to Carol ‘who is this young man who has been with you on these meetings?’ and they introduced themselves as boyfriend and girlfriend.”
During the pandemic they developed their incredible art skills, along with Peter who also is supported by Rachel and Fran. Their love for art continues and they still spend a lot of time creating beautiful paintings and prints. Their work is so admired, that they have set up an online store selling their designs on t-shirts and as prints.
They also raised more than £2,000 for Shelter from sales.
As well as art, they enjoy days out together on the bus, eating out and also like going to the cinema. It was actually a trip to the cinema that prompted the engagement.
“We went to watch a film and there was a wedding scene in it,” said Frances Sutton, Carol’s sister.
“We talked about it and they both said it was their favourite part. From that Ivor said he wanted to marry Carol.”
From that moment the ball started rolling on the engagement and Fran and Rachel spoke to the couple to ensure it was exactly what they wanted.
Neither could wait to get a ring and a day out was planned in Wells, which is where Ivor suggested to go to buy it.
“We got a silver and sapphire ring,” said Ivor.
“It was the one I picked,” said Carol.
They celebrated with a glass of champagne and a photos at Bishop’s Palace.
Using their art skills Ivor and Carol have created and designed the official wedding invite.
Carol has picked her beautiful dress (we’ve had a sneaky peek and it’s stunning!) and Ivor has selected his suit.
“She was specific that she didn’t want a long dress with a train, as she’d trip over and she said she didn’t want ‘that thing that goes over your eyes’ [veil],” joked Rachel.
“Ivor has picked a lovely blue chequered suit and he looks like a Rockstar!”
They have also picked their own music for the ceremony and first dance and have been to see the registrar.
Fran will be Best Man and Peter is going to be ring bearer at the special day.
“Ivor and Carol are making choices and there is a lot planning involved, it’s been exciting and absolutely joyous,” said Rachel.
“They have had so many messages and cards, it’s been lovely to see. Due to so many people knowing them, they are also planning a lap of the area- taking in North Petherton, Bridgwater and Goathurst- in a Land Rover after the wedding and people are going to come out to see them, as everyone is so happy for them.”
“I’m going to sit in the Land Rover with Ivor and wave to everyone,” said Carol.
They are also deciding on their honeymoon plans and are thinking about going on a cruise.
“It’s likely to be around the Med or Bay of Biscay,” said Fran.
“Ivor used to travel a lot and has a map on his bedroom. Carol loves cruising too.”
Following the wedding, the house make up will change. Presently Carol and Ivor have their own rooms, but that will alter after the wedding.
“I am moving into Ivor’s room once I am his wife,” said Carol.
“We will then turn my room into a living area for us.”
All at SLSW are extremely excited for Ivor and Carol and we wish them both every happiness and can’t wait to see photos of your big day!