Help celebrate her big day by posting a card

A care home in Biggleswade is asking people to help celebrate a resident’s 100th birthday, by sending in birthday cards.

Vera at the keyboardVera Cobley turns 100 on 11 March. Sadly, plans for the big day with her family have been put on the back burner as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Vera has lived at Abbotsbury Residential Home since 2017, and before the pandemic would have regular visitors, and go out for tea with her daughter, granddaughters and great grandchildren. Visits have stopped for the time being, although she still speaks to her family on the phone regularly.

Staff at the home have described Vera as ‘amazing’, noting that she plays the organ for other residents every day in the dining room. She also has a keyboard in her bedroom.

Young Vera CobleyMusic has always been important to Vera; when she was 13 she was part of a group of ballet dancers called the Ten Bright Eyes dancers, and toured Scotland with a pantomime for six weeks. She loves watching Strictly Come Dancing, and when there is a birthday party at Abbotsbury one of the carers often pushes her wheelchair around so she can still dance!

Later in life, she worked at Swan & Edgar; a department store in Piccadilly Circus. She was part of the contingency staff and could work in any department – her highlight was serving the Queen, who had chosen a blouse from the shop.

She also worked in Nottingham for Viyella and still misses her sewing machine. She does still crochet and knit – mainly scarves and placemats.

Vera has always enjoyed getting out and about; before moving to Abbotsbury, she rode her bicycle up until she was 87!

Vera’s daughter, June, said:

“We had such special plans for mum’s big birthday, but now we hope to be able to visit her and give her some gifts. We would love for lots of people to post her cards – she would be over the moon, and so happy to know that other people are thinking of her on her big day.”

Suzanne Lynch, Manager of Abbotsbury Residential Home, said:

“Turning 100 is a big milestone, and unfortunately Vera’s plans with her family are now on hold while lockdown and social distancing measures are in place. We would love people to post cards to Vera so we celebrate the big day and make a fuss of her!”

Anyone who would like to send a card should post it to Abbotsbury Residential Home, Mead End, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 8JU.

Any post received will be quarantined for 72 hours before it’s opened. If you’d like to post Vera a card, to ensure she receives it on her birthday please post it to arrive by 8th March so the 72-hour quarantine window can be adhered to.