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“Love is quite a funny thing, it creeps up on you when you least expect it, but I’m not complaining.” – Janet Potter

Janet Potter, 67, lives at Anchor Hanover’s Oakwood Court in Marton-in-Cleveland, Middlesbrough with her now fiancé David. After meeting in the lounge at Anchor Hanover’s Silverwood Court, Janet and David fell in love.

Janet comments, “My friend Margaret invited David to join us for a coffee in the lounge at Silverwood Court. At that time, I wasn’t looking for love, but David was special and he’s been my boyfriend ever since.

“We have been a couple for about seven months now, and after spending all my time with him, I realised how much I have missed having close company. I would say at that time, the only issue we faced, was that we were living separately. At Silverwood Court, both David and I had studio apartments and unfortunately, there weren’t any larger apartments available for us to rent which could accommodate two people.

“We knew we had to find a new place to live, because all we wanted was to continue enjoying each other’s company, and living together would make this a whole lot easier. We wanted to have the flexibility to be a normal couple.

“David dived right into researching; he is quite savvy on the laptop and worked really hard to find our new home, Oakwood Court.

“I was extremely excited to move to Oakwood Court with David and start our new life together, and just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, David surprised me with what the greatest gift I could have asked for. At Christmas, David asked me to marry him, and of course I said yes.

“We have now been living at Oakwood Court since the start of the year, in a one bedroom, first floor apartment and it is so beautiful here, a real home from home. There’s so much for us to do and experience here, and I really treasure the opportunity to make new memories with David. We can play bowls, bingo, keep fit on a Tuesday and take local busses into town for shopping. But most importantly – I can cook David dinner.

“When I retired eight years ago, I never thought I’d find love again. I mean, where do you even begin at our age? But my life and opinion has completely changed since then.

“We’ll be getting married in August, with a small ceremony in Middlesbrough where we will invite our nearest and dearest. But for now – I’m just looking forward to spending all my time in a lovely place with my biggest role model, David.”

Shirley Richards, Manager at Oakwood Court comments, “It has been a real pleasure welcoming Janet and David to Oakwood Court. Their love and connection is inspiring, and epitomises the idea that the need for closeness and companionship does not expire. It is often said that getting older can make for lonelier hearts but retirement housing schemes are the best way to combat this. Residents may not always be looking for love, but they’re often comforted by knowing there’s always a friendly face and warm conversation waiting for them.”

Oakwood Court is a retirement housing scheme in Middlesbrough, offering one bedroom and studio purpose-built properties for rent for people over 55. Oakwood Court offers residents social activities including coffee mornings, carpet bowls, armchair exercise sessions, bingo and other monthly evening entertainment.

Properties are available to rent at Oakwood Court from £523.50 which includes rent, service charge, heating, hot water and water rates.

For more information on any Anchor Hanover properties, please visit www.anchorhanover.org.uk or call 0808 102 6548.