Press release posted 28 July 2023
A couple from Hyde, who met whilst working at Manchester’s specialist cancer centre, The Christie, tied the knot recently.
Claire Chapman (nee Wild) was working as a porter in the hospital's radiology department, helping to take patients to and from their scans when she first met Andy Chapman.
Andy (known to many as Chappers) was covering some portering shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, in addition to his role as a security officer at the Withington cancer centre.
Love blossomed, and the couple from Flowery Field married and had their reception on 24 June 2023 at Fairfield Golf Club in Audenshaw. Claire’s adopted son, 16-year-old Sean, walked her down the aisle. The newlyweds went on honeymoon to the Yorkshire coast towns of Bridlington and Scarborough.
“We fell in love during lockdown, so we didn't go on proper dates for a while but got to know each other at work”, says Claire. “We worked together in radiology a few times and started to talk to each other outside of work regularly. I was struggling with my mental health, and Andy supported me, sometimes talking to me for hours.
“Andy was looking forward to attending his niece's wedding once the COVID-19 restrictions were eased but remarked that he would never get married as it was too late for him. I told him to never say never, not thinking that it would be me and him getting married one day.”
Andy added: “We started to take breaks together in radiology and talk about our lives. My portering cover in radiology ended, and I returned to my regular role in security but stayed in touch with Claire every day.
“The lockdown restrictions eased, and we began to spend time together going to different places on our days off work.”
Claire soon realised that the relationship was blossoming. “As we got to know each other better, I realised something more than friendship was happening and that I had met someone very special, and it turned out he was feeling the same way.
“In March 2022, Andy proposed to me in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom with the help of the Wurlitzer organist in front of a crowd. It was so romantic.
"We spent the next year planning the wedding, and when the day finally came, it was one of the best of my life.
“It meant so much to me that Sean walked me down the aisle. He was in the care system before my ex-husband Jason and I adopted him, and he has had to adapt to so many changes in his life. He has accepted Andy into the family, and they get on really well.”
Several colleagues, past and present, from The Christie attended the wedding, including Claire’s bridesmaid and fellow Christie porter, Katie Ducklin.
Wedding photography was by family friend Paul Williams from Hyde, who has helped with fundraising for The Christie in the past.