Wakefield centenarian says 100th birthday will one she will 'never forget' after she was surprised with more than 600 cards

A woman who had her 100th birthday party plans ruined by the pandemic said it was a day she would “never forget” after she was surprised with more than 600 cards.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 3:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th December 2020, 3:23 pm
Jean Crichton was left in tears after carers brought bags full of birthday cards, as well as flowers and chocolates to her home for her centenary celebration. (SWNS)

Jean Crichton was left in tears after carers brought bags full of birthday cards, as well as flowers and chocolates to her home for her centenary celebration.

She had originally planned to invite family and friends around for a big party but sadly due to Covid those plans were cancelled.

But her carers, who visit Jean four times a week at her home where she still lives alone, decided to post a card appeal on social media to mark the special day.

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Jean Crichton.

Just a day after posting, they received their first card and they didn’t stop coming for two weeks to the point they lost count after 600.

Children from Towngate Primary Academy in Ossett sent her hand drawn letters, while a chef sent her her favourite meal - roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and trifle for dessert.

In the heartwarming moment, Jean is seen welling up on her birthday on December 12 as the carers open and read her every single wish she received.

Jean, from Stanley, said: “I can’t believe it there are so many kind people,

Carers brought bags full of birthday cards, as well as flowers and chocolates to Jean for her centenary celebration.

“It’s a day to remember and a day I will never forget and I wish I could say thank you to every single person.

“I have to thank Sarah and the carers who have put this together for me. I would like to thank all the children who went through the trouble of making beautiful cards.

“It will take me a long time to forget this, it’s been a very happy day for me and one I shall never forget.”

The kind gesture was organised by carers from Complete Care West Yorkshire, who said Jean was the “loveliest woman” who deserved “this, and more”.

Jean read every one of her 600 cards.

They posted the appeal on Facebook on Dec 1 asking for people to send in cards and it quickly snowballed into something “absolutely amazing”.

Jodie Bedford, team leader at the care centre, said they were overwhelmed by how many cards and flowers were sent in each day.

The 42-year-old said: “We had people being so lovely from all over the world sending in cards, gifts, and well wishes - it was really overwhelming

“But it’s nothing less than what Jean deserved in the incredible life she lived - she is such a strong willed, funny, and just lovely woman and she deserves this and more.

In the heartwarming moment, Jean is seen welling up on her birthday on December 12 as the carers open and read her every single wish she received.

“She had something planned with her family but obviously with Covid they had to be cancelled - and we thought she’d been through so much in her life it would be wrong not to be celebrated.

“We were getting cards and flowers every day - it was incredible.

“She just had a room full of biscuits, chocolates, a restaurant sent her favourite meal which roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and trifle dessert.

“It was just a lovely day.”

Jean and her sister were brought up in a children’s home and were sadly separated when her sibling was adopted.

She remained at the home until she was 16 before she was put into service.

Eventually she moved to Manchester where she worked at a grocery shop, where the owners took her in and treated her as one of their own.

A few years later, Jean met Tom whom she married and eventually moved to Yorkshire with, and had a daughter Pat together.

Sadly he passed away when he was just 47, and left Jean to raise Pat on her own - but sadly Pat passed away when she was only 46.

Jean, who loved to dance, went on to meet George, a “wonderful man”, and used to dance together twice a week.

Every Valentine's Day, until George’s passing in 2015, he always brought Jean a dozen red roses - now Jean leaves a dozen red roses on his grave on Valentine’s Day.