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100th birthday celebrations for local community resident

Philippa Scudds

‘Making a difference to the lives of others’ is part of Canford School’s mission statement and central to the very fabric of life at the school, with every Sixth Former taking part in some kind of Community Action work every Monday afternoon during term time.  One such activity involves visiting the elderly either in their homes or in care settings, offering a weekly chat and a friendly face.  The arrangement is always of benefit to both parties, with pupils learning about past lives and the more senior generation enjoying keeping up to date with the modern day world. 

Such support has been particularly important during the lockdown when many of our elderly and vulnerable friends have been isolated and families have not been able to visit relatives.  While pupils have not been able to visit due to Covid-19 restrictions, the school has continued to help where possible, delivering food parcels and Easter cakes, and sending cards.  Steven Ives, current Canford teacher, has gone one step further and has managed to visit a couple of older ladies every week, one aged 95 in her home in Merley and another, Joan Clark, in her sheltered accommodation in Wimborne. Steve has been Joan’s only visitor apart from her cleaner since the lockdown which demonstrates the extent to which the pandemic has isolated so many people.

With Joan’s 100th birthday being celebrated this week, 19th August, Steve and Canford colleagues were determined to mark the milestone.  Over the weekend Steve delivered a cake baked by Canford chef Martin, and catering manager Billy ordered a beautiful bouquet of flowers.   Steve bought Joan a few of her favourite ‘tipples’ alongside a large ‘100’ balloon, a card with some fascinating facts from 1920 and a bottle of fizz to celebrate. 

Joan has missed the pupil visits very much so Louise Davies from the Wessex Youth Orchestra came along to play for her which she absolutely loved.

Steve commented:

“Joan loved the school’s cake and flowers and was really touched by the thought. She wants to thank the Canford catering team for all their kindness. I stocked up her ‘tipple cabinet’ and we shared a bottle of bubbly - but she was most excited by the balloon, as she hadn’t had one on her birthday since 1929! Thank you also to Louise for taking the time to come and provide the music – it really made Joan’s day.”

From the photographs you can see that Joan thoroughly enjoyed the day and we wish her many happy returns and every happiness as she celebrates with her family tomorrow, who are travelling from London and Scotland to see her for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak.