Finding love: the unexpected benefits of Dot Dot Dot guardianships

It was the height of lockdown. The world felt more isolated than ever when Amanda moved to  Henley-on-Thames.

Little did she know that the idyllic riverside town was about to become the backdrop to her love story.

New beginnings

Henley’s wooded hills and green fields make it one of England’s prettiest towns. From September 2019, we housed 23 different guardians in Mount View Court – sheltered accommodation owned by Soha Housing.

While Soha residents remained in many flats, Dot Dot Dot guardians occupied 14 others awaiting refurbishment. In March 2021, Amanda joined our community of guardians in Henley.

Eight months later she was engaged and 18 months later married.

Finding connection

Property guardianship is a form of temporary, short-term living. For Amanda, it was always meant to be a stepping stone.

“I was at a place in my life where connection felt impossible,” she tells us. “After the divisive Brexit vote and a global pandemic, a lot of people were experiencing isolation. But then, there Andrew was!”

Fellow guardian Andrew moved into the flat next door to Amanda only a few days before she arrived. Amanda says “we quickly fell in love through our mutual love of gardening and there was a strong attraction over the fence.”

A pillar of support

Naturally community-minded, Amanda and Andrew quickly became a pillar of support for the remaining Soha residents.

“Many residents needed some support and form of connection throughout the long Covid period of lockdowns,” she explains. “So we reached out to a few of our neighbours to offer help with shopping. Soon, I was picking up prescriptions for a wonderful lady and helping others to decipher their bills over a cup of tea. Andrew regularly helped the local residents put up shelves or mow lawns. They spoilt us and often we’d find a beautifully handwritten note and home baked cake on our doorstep.”

Reflections on her guardianship

For three and half years, Dot Dot Dot guardians kept the flats at Mount View Court safe and secure. But in March 2023 the time came to hand the properties back to Soha. Amanda and Andrew have since moved into private rented accommodation nearby and still keep in touch with a few Soha residents. 

“I am always going to look back at my time as a guardian with great fondness,” says Amanda. “Dot Dot Dot offered excellent support over the years. My fellow guardians have become life-long friends. Volunteering locally and helping the Soha residents has given me a sense of life’s purpose. Not to mention, I met and married my amazing soulmate through Dot Dot Dot. Never in a million years did I think that I’d gain so much in two years.”


Spotlight on Sam: Creating connections through volunteering

As a video producer and communications consultant in the social sector, Sam has had the opportunity to work with non-profit organisations in Ireland, the UK and Sub Saharan Africa. Through volunteering as part of his Dot Dot Dot guardianship, Sam has been able to offer his skills to organisations that couldn’t otherwise afford his services.

Read Sam's story