"A Good Life" says Avis
New Forest Colten Care home resident Avis Neville celebrates her centenary at Kingfishers New Milton
Colten Care’s latest centenarian has celebrated her landmark birthday more than 12 years since she moved to Kingfishers in New Milton.
Avis Neville was the centre of attention as staff at the Outstanding-rated care home presented her with gifts, cards and flowers.
After Happy Birthday was sung, she was presented with a cake specially baked by Kingfishers’ chefs.
When Avis took up residence at the home in June 2009, she completed a ‘life diary’ charting her childhood, career and retirement years.
Born in Highbury, North London, in September 1921, Avis was four when she moved with her parents, brother and sister to Kent where she recalled the family were able to “enjoy the open spaces”, adding: “My mother always said we were not rich but helped each other and had a good life.”
Avis left school at just 14. After evening classes in typing and shorthand, she took up secretarial work and joined the administrative staff of the upmarket Piccadilly department store Fortnum & Mason.
In the Second World War, Avis served for three years in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s branch of the Army, gaining promotion to Corporal and Acting Sergeant.
After the war, she decided to further her career at the food and restaurant chain J Lyons and Co.
Working in the outdoor catering section, she supported the company’s presence at major annual events such as the Chelsea Flower Show, Wimbledon tennis championships, the Farnborough Air Show and Royal garden parties.
“I was working long hours but enjoying it,” Avis wrote in her diary. “There was never a dull moment.”
In her retirement, Avis travelled extensively overseas and indulged her passion for hobbies including embroidery, knitting, crosswords and jigsaws.
Asked about her personal achievements later in life, Avis replied: “I was a Women’s Institute President for nine years, I worked in an Age Concern charity shop and I ran a lunch club for 30 people for five years. I’ve received awards for various things, mostly charity work.”
Rose Arcellana, Kingfishers’ Companionship Team Leader, said: “Avis is a lovely, charming lady who had a wonderful active lifestyle when she was younger. She still always gives you a nice smile when prompted.”
Among Avis’s fellow centenarians at Kingfishers, Merrick Kearsey celebrated his 101st birthday in May while in March Marjorie Nutton and Irene Harris turned 100 and 104 respectively.
Across Colten Care’s 21 homes, this year has seen nine residents reach the age of 104 or more, the eldest being 106.
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Three of Colten's New Forest homes are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission: Linden House specialist dementia care home in Lymington, Woodpeckers residential home in Brockenhurst and Kingfishers in New Milton.
Find out more about Colten Care
With more than 30 years’ experience, Colten Care is an award-winning family-owned care home company. It has 21 quality care homes covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex and offers a range of services spanning residential, nursing and dementia care. Seven of the homes are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and Colten Care earns a consistently high group score, currently 9.9 out of ten, on the public review site Carehome.co.uk. Based on such third-party advocacy, Colten Care is the UK’s highest-rated care home group for its size.
All Colten Care homes are registered for nursing care
All homes are registered for nursing care and four are dedicated dementia care homes with Admiral Nurse support. Unlike people who receive domiciliary care in their own homes, residents in Colten Care homes have the reassurance that 24/7 nurse-led care with companionship is on hand whenever they need it. Residents live in the highest standards of accommodation, enjoying homecooked food, fresh laundry and housekeeping services, and safe, peaceful and inspiring gardens. Colten Care also supports residents to raise thousands of pounds for charities of their choice every year. Founded more than 35 years ago, Colten Care has won multiple awards for the quality of its care and remains an independent, family-owned care home provider. For more information, visit www.ColtenCare.co.uk
Three Colten Care homes in the New Forest are rated outstanding
Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the New Forest, three of which are rated Outstanding and three of which are in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House (Outstanding). There are also homes in Brockenhurst -Woodpeckers (Outstanding), New Milton - Kingfishers (Outstanding) and Mudeford - Avon Reach. Click on the links to find out more about each home...