Stafford and Rural Homes | SARH customer celebrates centenary

SARH customer celebrates centenary

A surprise party has helped Lillian Johnson, known to everyone as Rene, celebrate her 100th birthday in style with family and friends, as well as neighbours, at the Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) You First Independent Living Scheme in Stafford where she’s lived for the past four years.

When Rene was born, fighting was still raging in the trenches of the Western Front and David Lloyd George was in number 10 Downing Street. A century on, the world looks very different and the former cleaner and Cub Scout leader is the life and soul of the party as she celebrates 100 years.

Although she no longer plays netball – in her younger years she made the position of goal defence her own – Rene is as active as ever and a regular at Marston Court social events. She also helps serve up the food at the Independent Living Scheme’s Monday and Wednesday breakfast clubs.

Toby Horton, You First Independent Living Scheme Manager, commented: “Rene is always the life and soul of the party, and it was fantastic to see so many family, friends and neighbours turn out to wish her well on this very special birthday.”

Born in Weston, Rene left school at 14 before entering domestic service and moved to Doxey with her late husband Reg, who she met at a local dance hall. She eventually moved back to Weston, living in a bungalow that was later bought by the council and then Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH).

Now she’s happily settled at a local You First Independent Living Scheme managed by the area’s leading provider of affordable homes, Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) and Chief Executive, Karen Armitage, was a special guest at the party.

Karen, who celebrated her own birthday on the same day, presented Rene with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of the housing association.

“Rene has a few years on me, but it was fantastic to be able to join in her birthday celebrations,” Karen said. “To see so many people at the party reflects how well thought of she is, and we’d like to all wish her a very happy birthday!”

A self-confessed bingo addict Rene commented: “The party was a very big surprise, and it was wonderful to see so many family and friends.”

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