Family and staff surprise Vera for 100th birthday


Vera 100 Birthday St Thomas Court 3

Big-hearted colleagues at St Thomas Court gave one customer a 100th birthday to remember, thanks to a special surprise socially distanced celebration.

Vera – who’s been living at the Coventry retirement living scheme for over 25 years – celebrated her milestone birthday on 27 April 2021 with a safe gathering of friends and family in the scheme’s garden.

Along with the help of Vera’s family, our thoughtful colleagues organised cake and flowers to be delivered on the day, as well as a musician who played live in the garden so Vera could listen from the comfort of her bedroom.

The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr. Ann Lucas, also made a surprise visit to wish the centenarian a happy birthday and Vera received a card from HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Talking about her special day, Vera said: “It was amazing. I was able to see family which was lovely – even with restrictions as we had a great outside space and a gazebo for protection. There were lots of surprises in the day and I really enjoyed it!”

Vera was born in 1921 in Coventry, growing up less than a quarter mile from her home at St Thomas Court. At 17, she took a job as an Inspector at the Standard Aero factory in Coventry, which made aeroplane parts before and during World War 2.

She married her first husband in 1941 and they were together for several years until he passed away. She married again and was married for 16 years until he too passed away. Vera has two children from her first marriage and two stepchildren from the second, as well as five grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and five great great grandchildren – some of whom she saw during her day of celebrations.

Shaun Gould, who is the Retirement Living Officer at the site, said: “It was a great day for Vera and, working with her family, we were able to make sure socially distanced surprises and visits went ahead – making it a really special day for Vera, her family and friends at St Thomas Court.”