Home » News » April 2016 » Torbay couple prove love is food for the soul

Torbay couple prove love is food for the soul

6 April 2016

Two Torbay lovebirds in their 70s are celebrating a whirlwind romance with a surprise engagement followed by a summer wedding after meeting at a Sanctuary Housing-supported project.

Love blossomed

72-year-old Alan Fillis met Jean “Twiggy” Drew at the Catch Up Café in September 2015, when Alan was working with café staff selling home-grown produce. They got chatting and love blossomed over the fruit and veg.

Down the aisle

After just five months, Alan popped the question in February this year and the love-struck duo plan to walk down the aisle in June. Staff from Sanctuary presented the happy couple with congratulatory flowers and an engagement card at Sanctuary’s Torbay Community Star Awards last month.

Alan said: “What a whirlwind it’s been! Without the Catch Up Café we wouldn’t have met so I thank my lucky stars every day. It just goes to show, when it comes to love, age really is nothing but a number!”

Residents catch up

The place that Alan and Twiggy have to thank for their star-crossed meeting, the Catch Up Café, offers a community led-venue at the Windmill Centre for local people to socialise and grab a tasty breakfast. It was set up by local residents following funding from Sanctuary, with support from the Torbay Community Organisers.

Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, Lynne Roberts, commented: “One of our main aims is to support residents in the communities we operate in to live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives, and Alan and Twiggy’s story is a wonderful example of how that has been achieved.

“I’m sure I speak for everyone at Sanctuary in wishing them a fantastic wedding day in June and all the best for their future together.”

The Catch Up Café is open every Monday from 11am-2pm at the Windmill Centre on Pendennis Road, and all residents are welcome to come along.

This project was part-funded by Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund, supporting projects which benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.


Advice on COVID-19 (coronavirus)

The health and safety of our residents, their families and our staff is our number one priority.

We are continually monitoring how we provide services to our customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the resumption of routine repairs. More information about our services can be found on our Covid-19 page and on our social media channels. Please see our latest health and safety guidance.

Read our notice