10 stories of love and friendship found

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Kathryn and Matt Colledge on their first date in 1994

Kathryn and Matt Colledge on their first date

University life is about the people as much as the studying. A time for creating memories and making lifelong relationships whether romantic or platonic.

Here are 10 stories from people who met a soulmate at UWE Bristol, told in their own words.

1. Kathryn and Matt Colledge

Kathryn Colledge (neé Williams) BA(Hons) Business Studies (1996) and Matthew Colledge BA(Hons) Business Studies (1996)

“I started at UWE in Sept 1992, making many new friends. I featured in the 1994 prospectus, alongside friends Sam and Matt. The three of us and three others then all lived together in our 2nd year.

I started going out with Matt in January 1994. Another friend Mark started going out with Vanessa and another friend David starting going out with Danielle. The six of us had an amazing time at UWE; we all graduated in 1996.

We’re all now happily married, with six children between us. We meet up regularly and always have a laugh. I cannot believe that our eldest son is now about to embark on his University life – time flies!”

Kathryn Colledge
Kathryn and Matt outside 2B025 on Frenchay Campus 1992 and at a reunion in October 2022
Kathryn and Matt revisit 2B025, the lecture theatre where they first met
Kathryn and Matt in 1994 prospectus (Matt pretending to be a lecturer)

2. Clare and Dave Melton

Clare Melton (neé Lee), BA(Hons) History (1999) and Dave Melton BA(Hons) English (1999)

Clare and Dave end of 1997 summer term, at the 1997 ball and in 2022 with their twins

“My husband and I met at UWE. We started in 1996 and were both in Bishop Monk Halls of residence on St Matthias Campus. We married in 2009 and had twins in 2015. We now live in North Somerset. Still in touch with others from our very happy years at UWE.”

Clare Melton

3. Fatema Deere and Nicole Jefferies

Fatema Deere, BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences (2005) and MSc Medical Microbiology (2010) and Nicole Jefferies (neé Dempster) BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences (2005) and MSc Medical Microbiology (2010)

Fatema and Nicole at UWE in 2003, at Fatema’s wedding in 2009 and Nicole’s wedding in 2017

“I studied here for both my BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences (2005) and my MSc Medical Microbiology (2010). I remember both times fondly – the great food, the great bar and great fun on campus on a Friday night!

I made great friends during my time at Frenchay Campus, one of whom, Nicole, is still a ‘bestie’. We were bridesmaids at each other’s weddings.

I achieved so much here and I’m still studying. I’m currently training to be a Consultant Clinical Scientist. Thank you UWE for setting me up both academically and personally”.

Fatema Deere

4. Dija and Hammed Ayodele

Dija Ayodele (neé Akpata) BA(Hons) Business Administration (2005) and PG Cert Personnel Studies (2006) and Hammed Ayodele BSc(Hons) Computer Science (2008)

Dija and Hammed at their graduation in and again in 2021

‘In 2002, our eyes locked in P block, travelled the world, got married and two children later and we’re still best friends. The vast majority of our friends are alumni too!”

Dija Ayodele

5. Clare Melton and Sara Macbeth

Clare Melton (neé Lee), BA(Hons) History (1999) and Sara Macbeth (neé Peters) BSc(Hons) Psychology with Health Science (1999)

Clare and Sara pictured in shared kitchen in halls in 1996, and in September 2022

“I met Sara when we both lived in Bishop Monk Halls of residence at St Matthias Campus. A great and enduring friendship was made between us and many others in Bishop Monk. Old friends are definitely the best!”

Clare Melton

6. Jamie and Natasha Warwick

Jamie Warwick, BSc(Hons) Forensic Computing and Security (2014) and Natasha Warwick (neé Winter), – BA(Hons) Education in Professional Practice (2014)

Jamie and Natasha at graduation in 2014, and with their daughter in 2022

“I met the wonderful Natasha while we were both working as Student Ambassadors in our final year in 2014. Nearly 8 years later, we have just celebrated one year of marriage and have also welcomed our daughter into the world!”

Jamie Warwick

7. Laura Corry and Kim Barnard

Laura Corry, BA(Hons) Marketing (2006) and Kim Barnard, BA(Hons) Marketing (2006)

Laura and Kim pictured at graduation in 2006, Laura’s wedding in 2011, and still friends in 2021

“I’m lucky that my two best friends are the friends I made on my course and in my first year house. I also met my husband on the patio outside Traders (now Starbucks)!

Kim and I were on the same course and met through mutual friends on a night out. Everyone else wanted an early night, but we both wanted to go dancing, so stayed out together. We ended up in Chicago Rocks on the waterfront (just to age us). The night ended with us swapping shoes, we have been best friends ever since.

We lived together in our final year, have travelled together, were bridesmaids for each other and are god parents for each other’s children. This year marks 20 years since we met! We might even go dancing and swap shoes to celebrate!”

Laura Corry

8.Toni- Marie and James Bonser

Toni-Marie Bonser (neé Jarvis), BA(Hons) Philosophy and Criminology (2012)
James Bonser, BA(Hons) Media and Cultural Studies and Philosophy (2012)

Toni-Marie and James Bonser pictured in 2012 and 2022

“I met my Husband at UWE. We were on the same course but mostly got to know each other through the centre for performing arts. We were both in the Showstoppers choir and did singing lessons. We met in our second week and finally got together right before graduation 3 years later.

We celebrated 10 years together in April 2022 and were married in September 2021 after postponing twice due to Covid. I have no idea where my life would have gone without UWE and I couldn’t be more grateful for my time and opportunities there.”

Toni-Marie Bonser

9. Peter and Charlotte Rhodes

Peter Rhodes, BA(Hons) Initial Teacher Education (Primary) (2004) and Charlotte Rhodes, BA(Hons) Initial Teacher Education (Primary) (2004)

Peter and Charlotte Rhodes

“My wife and I met at UWE Redland campus in 2002 while both in the third year of a four year Qualified Teacher Status course. We both were in teacher training and were on final placement together in 2003. We have been married 20 years this year!

Charlotte is currently Acting Head of a primary school in Greenwich and I am CEO of a Multi Academy Trust of 6 schools in Bexley and Bromley.”

Peter Rhodes

10. Lizzie Fear and Adam Jenkins

Lizzie Fear, BSc(Hons) Psychology (2021)

Lizzie and her partner

“For my third year at UWE I had the option to go on a year abroad with Erasmus to Radboud University in The Netherlands. So I took that opportunity and had the best year of my life!

I learnt so much about the culture and myself and made some great friends with people of all different nationalities. I also met my soulmate on the front steps of our student accommodation there, and we’ve been in a relationship together since.

We now live together in a flat in Sheffield and I’ve never been happier. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to go on a year abroad with UWE and would definitely recommend it to anyone else!”

Lizzie Fear

Tell us your story

Did you find a soulmate during your time studying with UWE Bristol? We’d love to hear your story. Tell us what you’re doing now. Share an old photo, share a new photo!

You can get in touch through our memories form or post on social media – tag us and use #30yearsofUWE

Seriously good prizes for a great cause

Play our 30th anniversary prize draw for your chance to win one of 30 fantastic prizes, kindly donated from alumni and the wider UWE Bristol community.

100% of funds raised from ticket sales will go to the UWE Bristol Fund to support Student Hardship Grants.

Buy a ticket and find out more about other ways we’re celebrating 30 years of being a University.


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