From Friendship to Love's story

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in October 2021 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Two years ago we shared the story of love between two of the people we support. Please see below for that story and an update.

The story so far…

Mike has been a Resident at one of our Ealing services since 2017. He has always valued the importance of relationships and maintains strong connections with his friends and family. In 2021, he expressed an interest in starting a relationship with one of his best friends – someone he has known for a very long time and has grown very fond of.

Enduring friendship

Mike and Jill became friends over 29 years ago in a community centre. Their friendship continued through admissions in the hospital, where they shared the smoking area where they would sit and talk over a cigarette – or two!

The pair kept in contact after they were discharged. Their friendship is one of the strongest the staff has witnessed among Residents and Participants! They are both members of the Solace Centre and attend the sessions daily. When unfortunate events happen in their lives or if things ever get tough, they always support each other and check in with one another. Jill always checks in with staff, too, to make sure all is well with Mike, and she was kept in the loop.

Mike asked staff for relationship advice during a one-to-one session, as he wanted to express his feelings for Jill. He told staff he had felt this way for a long time and had been afraid to tell her due to fears of ruining their very close friendship. Staff encouraged and supported Mike to tell Jill about his feelings, and as he is very shy, staff were there to support him while he shared it with her. Before the staff had even finished explaining the situation to Jill, she immediately responded with, “YES”. She has felt the exact same way all these years too! The atmosphere in the office was a mix of euphoria and relief, along with some happy tears.

Love is in the air

Now, the love birds are going on dates together, exploring new restaurants, and dressing up for each other! Mike is very thankful to the staff for their support. Now he is happier than anyone has ever seen him!

“I am in love, and I am really glad that the staff helped me to ask her out. I should have done it ages ago. I was afraid of being rejected and ruining our friendship.” – Mike

The staff will continue to be available if needed, although these two seem to have it all figured out.

We wish Mike and Jill a long and happy relationship!

I love a good love story, don’t you?


We caught up with Mike and Jill last Monday and are happy to report that they are still together and still very much in love. In fact, Drum Roll Please! Jill and Mile are engaged to be married!

With beaming faces they explained that they have grown even closer now as they have had to support each other through family issues and illness. They attended a family wedding in Blackpool where Jill met all of Michael’s family, and the couple spent last Christmas there with them.

Mike and Jill plan to spend Easter in Liverpool, when Mike will meet Jill’s family.

The couple plan to tie the knot next year and have already decided on the venue, attendants, and colour scheme.

We wish Jill and Mike continued happiness!