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100-year-old Cringleford care home resident donates birthday money to former university

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A Cringleford care home resident, and former Oxford university student, has celebrated her 100th birthday by making a special donation.  

Avril Powell, from Care UK’s Cavell Court, on Dragonfly Lane, marked the impressive milestone on 26th April when she virtually presented St Hughes College at the University of Oxford with a donation of almost £2,000.

100-year-old Cringleford care home resident donates birthday money to former universityAvril studied Classics at the college during the Second World War, and has many fond memories of her time at Oxford. While studying, her fathers tailor shop in Exeter was bombed, and Avril felt she had to return home and give up her much-loved studies. Her family encouraged her to stay, and St Hughes College kindly funded her to complete the remainder of her degree.

Incredibly grateful for the generosity of the college, and the opportunities university gave her, it was Avril’s wish for her friends and family to make donations to the college in lieu of gifts for her 100th birthday, and she was delighted to raise £1,930 in total.

Going one step further, the team at Cavell Court organised a surprise virtual meeting with the Principal of St Hughes, Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC FRSE, on Avril’s birthday, so that she could make the donation in person, and share her own memories of St Hughes.

Avril said: “I couldn’t believe how much money I raised for the college for my 100th Birthday, and it was a fantastic surprise to be able to thank the college personally for the way it has shaped my life.

“It feels wonderful to have reached 100, and to be able to spend it with my family after the last year was the icing on the cake.”

Karen Curle, Home Manager at Cavell Court, said: “Avril always speaks so fondly of her time at St Hughes College, and so it was no surprise when she asked her family to donate to them instead of buying her a birthday gift.  

“Here at Cavell Court, we always strive to make an occasion of birthdays, whether that’s baking a big birthday cake, or organising activities that are really special to individual residents.  From decorating the home to hearing about Avril’s time at Oxford, we certainly marked the occasion in style!”

Avril, who was born in Exeter, was one of two children. After leaving school, Avril went on to study classics at Oxford University, and after graduating worked as a teacher at Sherbourne School for Girls. She married her husband, Ray, the editor of Victoria County History, in 1942 and went on to have four children, Anne, Frances, Nicky and Ted. She later worked on the Medieval Latin Dictionary, and also at the Public Record Office. Avril is now a proud grandma and great-grandma to six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, who she loves spending time with.

Cavell Court is a modern care home which provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Designed to enable residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care home has its very own cinema and hairdressers, and there is plenty of space both indoors and out for relaxation and recreation.

For further information on Cavell Court, please call customer relations manager, Samantha Woods on 01603 856 835, or email           

For more general information, please visit

Open to new residents

140 Dragonfly Lane, Cringleford, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7SW

Cavell Court

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Day club

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