Love was in the air at a care home in Hartlepool as a popular staff member got down on one knee.
Stuart Thomson popped the question to girlfriend and colleague Nicky Collin while they were on a shift together at Sheraton Court, in Hartlepool.
The maintenance worker surprised Nicky, who was employed by the care home as a home administrator at the time, while she was working in her office.
Stuart came in holding a bunch of flowers, and when Nicky asked what they were for, he replied “because I love you”.
He then walked around Nicky’s desk before getting down on one knee, presenting her with a diamond ring and asking her if she would be his wife.
To his delight, the response was affirmative.
I was absolutely shockedNicky Collin
Nicky, 40, from Hartlepool, said: “I was absolutely shocked.
“It was such an amazing surprise and I didn’t come down from cloud nine for a long time.”
Nicky worked with Stuart’s mum and Sheraton Court’s former home manager, Carole Thomson, from the opening of the care home 10 years ago until recently.
She had always been good friends with Stuart, who is originally from Kent but has lived in the North East for more than 30 years, but they have been inseparable since connecting at an awards evening.
After the proposal, residents described Nicky as being in total shock, though she carried on with her job as normal after the surprise that morning.
Jean Johnson, a carer at Sheraton Court, told of her happiness for the popular couple.
She said: “I couldn’t be happier for the pair of them.
“They are so happy together and it shows every time they are together.”
The home, which is operated by British healthcare management company HC-One, is also celebrating achieving a 9.9 average rating on the sector’s leading care home comparison website carehome.co.uk.
The high rating puts HC-One homes into the best company in the care home sector, committed to providing kind care to residents.