Denise, 74 first met Peter 35 years ago when he was doing electrical work for her parents. They formed a close friendship and stayed connected throughout the years.

As life journeyed on for both, Denise began thinking about downsizing and the thought of a retirement village sounded perfect. Denise was living alone, so the security, included maintenance and the social aspect were all very appealing benefits. In 2014, Denise made the exciting decision to move into the Highfield Court community in Newcastle. Coincidentally, the village also happened to be just around the corner from her friend Peter’s home.

Denise laughs as she says, “I remember when Peter found out how close the village was to his house. He said, ‘It’s too bloody close’… with a big grin on his face.”

With the pair now living within walking distance to each other, it wasn’t long before their close friendship grew into a romantic relationship. Watching the couple together today it’s hard to imagine it any other way. They bounce off each other, fondly chat about their shared experiences and giggle as they lovingly rile each other up.

The natural next step was to move in together, but the way it happened was quite unique.

“It was funny”, Denise said. “He had hurt his leg around the same time that I was in hospital due to a shoulder injury. When I was discharged, we mutually decided that it made sense for me to move into Peter’s house so that we could help each other recover.”

“One day while I was living there, he said quite abruptly, ‘I want to talk to you.’ I thought he was going to break up with me! But to my surprise he said, ‘How would you like to move in and get married?’ I said yes of course!”

The couple are beaming with excitement as they share this, and Denise proudly shows off her beautiful Engagement ring. It was her own mother’s wedding ring which has now been reset.

An engagement party for the couple was hosted by Denise’s past neighbour in December last year. They had a wonderful time and received some lovely gifts.

Denise says, “We’ve booked the church, we’ve sent the invitations, I’ve organised my dress – we get married this month.”

“I plan on turning up in long shorts and a t-shirt,” says Peter.

“Tie and trousers,” Densie corrects him.

“Well, I don’t want to steal the limelight,” smiles Peter.

The couple have invited 50 of their closest friends and family who all share their joy and happiness.

They then plan to go on an extended honeymoon in April where they will travel to the Top End of Australia and across the Kimberly.

The community at Highfield Court are sad to see Denise leave, but everyone is incredibly happy for her and it’s for such a wonderful reason.

Congratulations to Denise and Peter and best wishes from Fresh Hope!