A COUPLE with cerebral palsy managed to pull off a magical wedding in Widnes before the coronavirus lockdown.

John Lloyd, 66, and Val Smith, 62, are now enjoying life as man and wife in Edward Street care home, after 40 years of friendship.

They met in the 1970s, when they both lived at Daresbury Hall, a large residential home for people with cerebral palsy.

When the home closed in the 1990s, John was rehoused in a purpose-built bungalow on the same site, and Val moved to Edward Street.

Although living separately, they maintained contact, attending the same day service and going on outings together.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

In 2007, they realised their love for each other and just one year later John arranged a party at Edward Street to ask Val to marry him.

In 2011, John moved to Edward Street to be close to Val and they have lived together happily ever since.

Last year, they made plans to hold a religious blessing of their relationship but, at the last minute, Val became ill and was in hospital for several weeks.

The couple were determined to rearrange and were recently married on March 7.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Ashleigh Passey, manager of Edward Street, said: "It was a fantastic day, all of their family and friends were there to witness it!

"Val was walked down the aisle by her brother-in-law and her sister made a very emotional speech.

"There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

"It goes to show that, no matter what challenges you face in life, love conquers all.

"It was a pleasure to support Val and John to achieve their goal of being a married couple and we wish them all the luck and happiness for their future together.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

"I am very proud of the staff team at Edward Street for working really hard to plan the blessing and ensuring the day went without a hitch.

Asked how she felt on the day, Val said she was happy and alive.

John added that his 'life is now complete'.

To meet increased demands during the coronavirus pandemic, Salutem, the company which runs Edward Street, is recruiting to a range of positions nationwide.

For more information and to apply for vacancies, contact: recruitment@salutemsharedservices.co.uk.