Martin and Bev met while working together in 1997. Martin had already been living with MS for two years after his diagnosis in 1995 at aged just 25. In 2000 Martin’s condition meant he became reliant on the use of a wheelchair and for the young couple, who married in the same year, this became very isolating. The couple have two teenage children and are regular faces at the Centre. As well as being Martin's main carer, Bev has raised nearly £40,000 for the charity through her Merlin MS Centre Selling Page on Facebook.
“Before the Centre opened we never really went anywhere, only to Martin’s mum’s house. I think he felt embarrassed to go anywhere and as time went on our friendships dwindled. I was afraid to go out and leave Mart on his own.
We met while working together, I was also a registered child-minder and did that for 12 months before giving it up to be Martin's full-time carer. Being a full-time carer has meant I have been able to watch my children grow up, but it is really hard work both mentally and physically. It gets to me the most when Mart is poorly, because I can’t do anything for him.
We heard about the Centre at a fundraising event and started to come as soon as it opened in 2009. Mart has received oxygen therapy, physiotherapy, massage and podiatry.
Before coming here shopping used to be my luxury as it was the only time that I went out, now I hate shopping and would rather come and see the friends we have made at the Centre.