A resident at a Crowborough care home celebrated her 100th birthday and revealed the secret to living a long and happy life.
Birthday celebrations were in full swing at Care UK’s Heather View, on Beacon Road, when resident Lilian Thornett turned 100 years ‘young’. She revealed the secret to living to this impressive age is keeping active – and ‘taking every day as it comes’.
Lilian was born on 24th June 1920 in London and moved to Heather View in September last year. After she left school, she became a milliner and was offered the opportunity to move to Paris to further her training in 1939 –unfortunately, war broke out and she became a telephone operator at Greenwich Town Hall instead, assisting the emergency services. Lilian and her husband Victor married in Greenwich, London, in 1942 and welcomed their first and only child Brian the same year, before later retiring to Uckfield.
A keen gardener, Lilian’s love of the outdoors started in her younger years, as she was often found climbing trees in Greenwich Park or exploring nearby seaside towns on family days out. After she moved to East Sussex, she enjoyed visiting local stately homes and gardens.
As Lilian’s family now lives in the United States and were unable to be there in person due to the pandemic, the team at Heather View launched an appeal to the local community to make her milestone birthday feel special. In response, the home was inundated with birthday cards, flowers and celebratory balloons from the community and local schools, including Fermor School, Nutley Edge, St Marys School and Skippers Hill Preparatory.
On the day, Lilian was also treated to a pamper session in the morning, then celebrated in style with a socially-distanced garden party in the afternoon, featuring an Elvis impersonator, homemade lemonade and cakes donated by members of the community, including a three-tier birthday cake. The team also arranged a group video call so Lilian’s family and friends could share her special birthday with her.
Home manager at Heather View, Natasha King, said: “The last few months have been challenging, but it was important to us to maintain a normal routine for residents where possible – and continuing to celebrate birthdays and milestones is a big part of it. We always like to throw a party for celebrations – so Lilian’s 100th birthday was no exception.
“Lilian is well-known for being a chatty, active lady, who is always the first one up to dance when the music comes on. She’s been a fantastic addition to the Heather View family since she moved in last year, and we really wanted to organise something special.
“It was incredibly touching to see how the community really came together for Lilian. We received an overwhelming number of thoughtful cards and presents – they truly made her feel very special on her big day, despite the unusual circumstances. I’d like to say a big thank to everyone who contributed to make Lilian’s birthday one to remember.”
Heather View has been designed to deliver the very best standards of care and to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives. The home provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite and palliative care. The home has its own space for activities, as well as a cinema, sensory room and café.
To find out more about Heather View care home, call 01892 883 574 or email customer relations manager, Caroline Thomas, at firstname.lastname@example.org