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Resident celebrates 100th birthday milestone with charity donation

Olive Giffen, who supported the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity through her 100th birthday, has an "incredible spirit and enthusiasm for life"

Olive Giffen turned 100 years old on April 20th and enjoyed her day with friends and family at Randell House care home.

A Blackwater care home resident celebrated her 100th birthday by donating money to a charity close to her heart.

Olive Giffen reached her benchmarking birthday on April 20 and enjoyed her day with friends and family at Randell House care home in Fernhill Lane.

The kind-hearted centenarian requested that instead of her loved ones buying her presents, they donate money to the Guide Dogs for the Blind

Randell House has been fundraising to collect £5,000 for the canine charity since last summer and have so far raised £1,037 towards the cause

Mrs Giffen, who has lived at the home since last September, was surprised on her special day by Derby the puppy from the Guide Dogs to say thank you for her generosity.

Mrs Giffen said: “I wanted to donate money to the Guide Dogs because my great love has always been dogs, particularly corgis.

“During the 40s I had six and was never without one until about 10 years ago.

“It has been wonderful to celebrate my birthday with my family and friends and Derby the puppy.

“I cannot believe I am 100 years old. It was very exciting to receive a card from the Queen.”

Mrs Giffen was born in Leeds in 1914.

When her father, Shep, was killed in 1917 in the Battle of the Somme, her mother moved Olive and her brother to Morecambe to live with their grandmother.

During her teens, Mrs Giffen and her family moved to Nottingham, where she learned to type shorthand and began working as an assistant to a photographer named Reginald Giffen.

She married Reginald in 1940, and during the Second World War they moved to the Potteries to grow the business.

In 1948 Mrs Giffen and her husband adopted their daughter, Celia.

The family then moved to Launceston in Cornwall to run a restaurant and guest house, and later Exeter, where Reginald passed away.

Mrs Giffen moved to Farnborough to be nearer to her daughter and worked as a GP’s receptionist in two local surgeries, before retiring in 1992.

She now has two grandsons and is a keen bridge player, who attended St Peter’s Church in Farnborough for many years.

Kieran Hogan, manager at the care home, said: “I would like to congratulate Olive on her 100th birthday on behalf of everyone at Randell House.

“She is an amazing lady with incredible spirit and enthusiasm for life.”

 

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