Zoe is an LGBT carer in her mid-40’s who is caring for her partner with stage three cancer.
Through a Time to Live grant organised through her local carers centre she was able to purchase and decorate a shed for her garden. She described how her home is tiny and her partner is often in the lounge. Her partner's health meant they were unable to provide any childcare and needed high levels of practical and emotional support, so Zoe could never be far from home. The shed would ‘be a bolt hole’ for her when she needed a bit of time out from the children and her partner: with no childcare expenses or arrangements, or travel time needed.
Zoe decorated the shed with fairy lights, cushions, and curtains and put a comfortable chair in it.
"I am regularly sneaking off for a quiet cup of tea in my haven with shelves and pictures on the wall and a little rattan rocking chair."
This helped her feel more relaxed and able to cope. Having a space of her own helped her remember she was important too. "The grant has made me feel valued and supported. I had kind of forgotten about me."
She reported feeling a greater sense of emotional wellbeing and being mentally stronger. The carer also spoke about how the shed helped her to go away mentally. The carer also talked about how the time in the shed had made her less "grouchy and tired."