Barty House Nursing Home


Overwhelming response to Ivy’s birthday card appeal

Following our appeal to the community to send 100th birthday cards to our resident Ivy Watson, we’re delighted to say that she has been absolutely inundated with cards, balloons, birthday cakes and hampers.

Staff were keen to help make Ivy’s big day as memorable as possible, and we originally hoped that she would receive a card for every year of her life in time for her 100th birthday on 28 September. But, thanks to the incredible generosity of local residents and businesses, as well as people much further afield, Ivy has so far received a whopping 723 cards – far surpassing anyone’s hopes or expectations!

The cards and good wishes have poured in from local schools, nurseries, brownies and girl guide groups in the Maidstone area – Oaks Primary Academy generously sent 100 – as well as from Royal Mail offices around the country and via Age UK initiative Postcards of Kindness. Others came from overseas, even as far as Australia and the United States! Local businesses sent balloons, cakes and hampers and Ivy’s happiness was made complete by the surprise appearance of a Shetland birthday pony, courtesy of Maidstone-based Pukka Ponies Equine Rescue.

All the decorative cards now line the hallway and corridors of our home, as well as the walls of Ivy’s own room.

Ivy, who has very few relatives and is now bed restricted, was wheeled into our lounge for her very special birthday celebration. She was so bowled over by all the cards, balloons and gifts that she asked staff several times: “Are you sure these are all for me?”. When assured that it was, indeed, all for her, she said: “It’s all so lovely!”.

Laura Tierney, our head of activities, had spearheaded the ‘100 birthday cards for Ivy’s 100th birthday’ appeal.

She says: “Ivy had a wonderful day and a magical party that she will never forget. She was our queen for the day, and this couldn’t have been done without the heart-warming kindness of individuals and businesses in the local community, and far beyond. We cannot thank you all enough for your incredible generosity.” She adds: “Yesterday was the proudest moment of my career!”

We would like to thank the following organisations for their kindness in sending cards, cakes, balloons, hampers and gifts to make Ivy’s 100th birthday so special:

Bearsted Primary Academy, Bee’s Balloons, Caseys Celebration, CWB Property, Grove Green Newsagents, Leeds & Broomfield Church of England Primary School, Madginford Primary School, Maidstone Brownies, Maidstone Guides, The Maplesden Noakes School, Morrisons, Oaks Primary Academy, Royal Mail Post Offices around the county, Sweet Daisy Hire, Sweet Cheeks Kitchen, Valley Park School, We Care Childcare and Yummy 4 My Tummy.