13 Feb 2019

GreenSquare's oldest resident celebrates 105th birthday

A Malmesbury resident has become GreenSquare's oldest resident at 105. 

Ella Beams, has lived for over 10 years at one of GreenSquare’s housing schemes for people aged 55 and over. 

She celebrated her birthday in January with family, and being a lifetime fan of Chelsea Football Club, was pleased that they’d just won their latest FA Cup match. 

“They’re my team. I used to be a season ticket holder and we’d go every week. A friend of mine knew the club so after the game we used to go and have tea with the players. Those were the days!” 

To mark her birthday Ella received a telegram signed by Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and a card from the Queen. She first received a card at 100 and now at 105 she’ll get one every year. “Oh yes, me and the Queen are chums now!” she said. 

And does she have any words of wisdom for getting to her grand age? “A little bit of what you fancy does you good,” she revealed. 

Within the same month three residents at GreenSquare’s other housing schemes in Wiltshire also celebrated milestone birthdays. 

The ‘centenarians’ are Barbara Kennett, who enjoyed a party with residents in Calne to celebrate reaching 100; Ada Bone, a resident in Purton, who turned 102; and Gertrude Tippetts in Royal Wootton Bassett, who is now 103. 

Speaking on her birthday Gertrude, known as Gertie, said: “I don’t notice any difference being 103 really. I don’t have any tips for others, but I suppose I’ve always worked hard. I don’t really drink and I’ve never smoked.” 

Gertie has been at her housing scheme for 20 years; she was born in Avebury and has lived in Wiltshire all her life. Fellow residents, along with family members, gathered for a party in the communal lounge on her birthday for lunch, tea, birthday cake and songs. 

She said: “I’m very happy here and have made plenty of friends over the years. I have enjoyed the party and had lots of different presents. My cake is beautiful.” 

GreenSquare manage housing schemes for people aged 55 and over across Wiltshire, and in Gloucestershire and Oxford. 

Chris Wildman, 55+ Service Manager at GreenSquare said: "With 410 years between the four of them, these residents have a lot of life experience and plenty of stories to tell! It has been wonderful to see them celebrate such milestone birthdays. 

"Residents can lead and enjoy full lives at our housing schemes. We provide that independence, which many are afraid they’ll lose when moving into older people’s accommodation. All of our schemes are managed by a dedicated team of community officers and house keepers. They work closely with residents, providing help and support when needed." 

The community officers visit on a weekly basis, supporting residents with their tenancies and management of the building. They also support residents to build a strong and lively community on the scheme. Whether through helping to promote activities, giving advice on where to find resources, or setting up resident groups, the aim is to give them the opportunity to join in and get involved with their community. 

More information about GreenSquare’s housing schemes for over 55s is available on the website.