Couple met in a homeless shelter and fell in love – despite 19-year age gap

She moved to homeless shelter Emmaus Brighton & Hove, in Brighton.

Victoria says: ‘I was so scared I’d have to sleep on the streets at night.

‘It was freezing and I didn’t know where else to go.

‘I found the shelter and I worked and lived there. They gave me a volunteer wage each week.’

Six months later Victoria met Geoff, who was performing for the shelter’s residents.

Victoria says: ‘There were lots of people staying there, so I’d never seen Geoff before.

‘When I saw him playing guitar, I was mesmerised by him.

‘He had the nicest smile.

‘I plucked up the courage to introduce myself.

‘He told me his age and I realised he was nearly 20 years older than me.

‘I was shocked, as I didn’t think he looked his age.

‘He told me that he’d been at the shelter for a year after sofa-surfing at family’s houses.’

From then on, Victoria and Geoff began chatting. They became inseparable, spending every day with each other.

Despite their age gap, the couple fell in love.

Victoria says: ‘I didn’t care that we weren’t the same age, you can’t help who you fall in love with.

‘Geoff was so mature, it was nice to be with an older man.

‘And he’s never been married or has any children, so there was nothing stopping us from being with each other.

‘I fell deeply in love with him.

‘It was like we’d known each other forever.

‘Within six months, I discovered I was pregnant, we were over the moon.

‘But I suffered an ectopic pregnancy, which was heartbreaking.

‘Then eight months later, I fell pregnant again.

‘But then we realised we couldn’t bring a baby up in that environment, so we applied for housing with the council.

‘I was terrified for my child and just wanted to find her a home.’

In September 2018, when Victoria was eight months pregnant, the couple were accepted for a home, and they moved into a two-bedroom house.

However, Victoria was keeping Geoff a secret from her family. She was worried about what they’d think of the big age-gap.

She said: ‘When my stepdad found out Geoff was five years older than him, he was furious.

‘I told him the age meant nothing, and Geoff had completely changed my life.

‘As we had a baby on the way, he just had to accept us.

‘I suddenly had a home, a man I loved, and I was pregnant.

‘The shelter gave us sofas and beds, which was lovely.’

One month later in October 2018, Victoria gave birth to her daughter, Georgia-may, now five months old.

The couple soon faced criticism from strangers.

Victoria says: ‘When we took Georgia-May to the park, we noticed strangers giving us dirty looks.

‘It made me feel uncomfortable but I ignore them.

‘And friends have asked me why I’m with an old man, I told them I didn’t care about his age, and that love is love.

‘Just because Geoff is older doesn’t mean we can’t be together.’

Despite strangers’ negative taunts, Geoff proposed to Victoria on Christmas Day 2018.

Victoria says: ‘I was so shocked and said yes straight away. Now we’re planning to get married in January next year.

‘We are finally a perfect little family.

‘Now Geoff is applying for jobs every day.

‘Geoff may be almost 20 years older than me, but he’s my perfect man!

‘We went from being homeless and losing all hope, to then falling in love.

‘You never know when you’ll meet the one.’

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