Nurse ‘heartbroken’ over thought mum might miss her wedding due to passport delays

Ashleigh Jenkins, from Bridgend, has been working for NHS Wales for six years and has been looking forward to marrying her childhood sweetheart Matthew Jenkins for years – especially after having to postpone their special day twice due to Covid regulations

Ashleigh's mum Marian doesn't have her passport yet so it's unlikely she'll be able to see her daughter walking down the aisle
Ashleigh’s mum Marian doesn’t have her passport yet so it’s unlikely she’ll be able to see her daughter walking down the aisle

An A&E nurse is devastated when her beloved mother could miss her wedding due to a passport delay issue.

Ashleigh Jenkins from Bridgend worked for NHS Wales for six years and has been looking forward to marrying their childhood sweetheart Matthew Jenkins for years – especially after they had to postpone their special day twice due to Covid regulations.

The couple have been together since 2008, having met as teenagers through Ashleigh’s cousin, who went to school with Matt.

While they were friends at first, it didn’t take long for their friendship to grow into something more.

Ashleigh said: “I had just got back from a family holiday and he from a rugby tour in South Africa and we were meeting up with friends who weren’t expecting to see the other person there – but there we were both.

He took my hand and held it and we’ve been together ever since, I was 15 and he was 16.

“We had our legal Covid [marriage] Service to sign the documents this past May 2021 so that we can finally have our wedding ceremony in June 2022.”

Ashleigh and Matthew are getting married in France next week


Ashleigh Jenkins)

Ashleigh Jenkins and her mother Marian Jones have been waiting for her mother’s passport for months


Ashleigh Jenkins)

The couple’s wedding is set to take place on Wednesday June 22 at a beautiful chateau the couple has rented in France’s Loire Valley.

In addition to the newlyweds, the parents, siblings, siblings’ partners and some close friends are preparing to celebrate the special occasion.

But since Ashleigh’s mother, Marian, doesn’t have her passport yet, it’s unlikely she’ll be able to watch her daughter walk down the aisle and marry the man of her dreams.

Knowing that the passport office takes time to issue passports, Ashleigh helped her mother apply for her first passport in February.

The couple mailed the application on February 7 and received confirmation from the passport office on March 29 that the application had been received and was being processed.

But as of June 17, Marian still hasn’t received her passport.

The Passport Office recommends that Britons allow 10 weeks for their passports to arrive.

Ashleigh and her mother Marian have now waited eleven weeks since receiving confirmation that Marian’s passport application has been processed and more than four months since they submitted the application.

The two say they have contacted the passport office for information several times over the past few months, but have received few details about the delay.

They’re hoping the passport will arrive in time for the family’s flight to France on Monday or before the wedding next Wednesday, but it looks unlikely.

The couple desperately waits for the passport to arrive on time


Ashleigh Jenkins)

Ashleigh said: “I’m finally getting married to my childhood sweetheart in France after our wedding has already been postponed twice due to Covid.

“All of this is amazing. However, my mother applied for a new passport on February 7, 2022 and throughout this time has been in frequent contact with the passport office, who have never raised any concerns and have stated that she will receive her passport on Wednesday [June 15].

“She contacted them again last week to ask when they would send the passport as she would prefer to collect it in person at the Newport office to ensure it arrives by our departure date of June 20, 2022.

“The passport office has now explained that they did not submit their application in time for our flight on Monday 20 April.

“We get no answers at all to inquiries and on average we only get a call back for every fifth telephone call that we make without further information.

“Although my wonderful mother calls every day and is physically ill from stress and contacts both her local MP and her GP, we are no further forward with answers or solutions.

“My mother was my rock during the most terrifying two and a half years that I worked on the front lines and I can’t imagine her not being there on my wedding day.

“So far I’ve been strong, but I’m just heartbroken to think that she might not be there.”

WalesOnline contacted the Home Office to ask what happened to Ms Jones’ passport application and why it had been delayed for so long.

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In response, a spokesman for HM Passport Office said: “Staff process approximately 250,000 passport applications each week and the latest figures show that 98.5% of applications were completed within 10 weeks.

“But we cannot jeopardize security checks and people should apply well in advance of travel.

“Since April 2021, we have clearly stated that people should allow up to 10 weeks to apply for their passports to accommodate the increased demand that has resulted in five million people delaying their passport applications due to the pandemic.

“An expedited service is available to help the small percentage of people whose applications are taking more than 10 weeks to receive their passports before they travel.”

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