Engaged care workers, Lauryn Stewart (21) and Ali Johnson (21), enjoyed their fourth Valentine’s Day together on Sunday while on shift at Renaissance Care’s Meadowlark Care Home in Forres, with special treats to mark the day.

The young couple, who have been together since 2017 would normally have been toasting to the most romantic day of the year over a meal, however due to the pandemic, they opted to spend a day on shift with the elderly residents they care for instead.

To thank the couple for giving up their day, and for their hard work throughout the year, care home staff organised special treats including cards, flowers and chocolates, donated by Aldi to mark the special occasion.

Having met in a care home where they previously worked together, Lauryn and Ali have now worked together for four years, three of which have been happily spent as care workers at Renaissance Care’s Meadowlark Care Home.

It has been challenging year for everyone in the care sector, and despite assumptions that working and living together may bring its own pressures, Lauryn and Ali believe it has only brought them closer. Lauryn said: “We’ve worked together since we’ve known each other so it’s not really anything new to us. It’s nice to know that we completely understand what each other are going through.

“This year we’ve been particularly grateful to have each other while working throughout the pandemic. We pick each other up when times are tough and are there to share the fun and happy memories too, which is needed more than ever this year.”

Although the fiancées were working on Valentine’s Day, their colleagues at Meadowlark put together a mini celebration for them which they were able to fully enjoy on their break.

Ali commented: “It means so much to us that the team at Meadowlark arranged this for Lauryn and me.

“Our colleagues and residents are like a second family to us, there’s always singing and laughter in the home, so spending Valentine’s Day there was great fun.”

Lauryn continued: “We both had a fabulous Valentine’s Day on shift – not only did we get to spend it together, but we were also surrounded by those we love, what is more special than that?”

Casey Whittaker, manager at Renaissance Care’s Meadowlark Care Home, said: “Lauryn and Ali are a great couple to work with. They are fantastic at communication with each other and the residents love having them around.

“The team and I made sure they had a break together to enjoy all the lovely gifts Aldi kindly donated. We decorated the staff room in the flowers and laid out the chocolates and cards for them, it really raised the spirits in the home, and everyone joined in in wishing them a happy Valentine’s Day.”

Graham Nicolson, Aldi Scotland Group Buying Director, commented: “It was fantastic to have helped support the team at Renaissance Care’s Meadowlark Care Home in creating a memorable day for both Lauryn and Ali.

“The efforts of all staff at Renaissance Care during the pandemic has been inspiring and on the behalf of Aldi Scotland I hope Lauryn and Ali and the Meadowlark Care Home team enjoy the special range of Valentine’s Day treats our local Aldi store has donated.”

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