OVER 250 birthday cards from around the world arrived at a Huddersfield care home to mark resident Betty “Jean” Testa’s centenary.
An appeal by staff at Longroyds and Pilling House Care Home, in Skelmanthorpe, for 100 birthday cards to mark Jean’s 100th year saw them more than double their target.
The appeal, which went out on social media, saw cards arriving from as far away as America, alongside those from family and friends.
Jean also received a card and telegram congratulating her on her milestone year from the Queen.
A party was thrown at the care home for the occasion, with banners, balloons and a hamper full of jams, scones and other treats donated by the Waterloo branch of Morrisons.
Hawthorns Private Day Nursery, on Station Road, visited to sing happy birthday through the window.
Jean also enjoyed a glass of sherry alongside a slice of two homemade birthday cakes, donated by friends of the home.
She said: “Everyone has been so kind. How lovely to receive so many cards.”
Born in London on 20th July 1920, Jean has lived in West Yorkshire for the past 10 years.
She left the capital to be closer to her granddaughter, in Holmfirth. She has three grandchildren, all sisters, with two living in Devon.
Jean worked as a dress maker when she left school, following her passion for sewing.
One of Jean’s earliest memories was her house being hooked up to the electricity grid, allowing her to swap candles for lightbulbs.
She said: “I was amazed when I first had electricity. I used to take a candle to bed and had oil lamps to light the house but then I could just turn on the lights with a switch.”
After moving north, Jean later moved into Longroyds and Pilling House Care Home in February 2017.
Daniel Sheard, home manager at Longroyds and Pilling House Care Home, said: “Everyone at the care home thoroughly enjoyed marking Jean’s 100th birthday.
“We’d all like to say thank you to our senior carer Joanne Fisher, who came up with the idea of a social media appeal for birthday cards, as Jean doesn’t have many family members.
“The response we had was amazing, with over 250 cards, alongside support from local bakers who made birthday cakes, the nursery children singing happy birthday, and the donations from our local Morrisons.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for making it such a special day for Jean. She had a wonderful time.”