Hayling Island's Doreen Beaven receives hundreds of cards on 104th birthday

At 104, Doreen Beaven says the most important lesson she has learned in her life is to be herself and be happy.

Surrounded by her 100 birthday cards from friends and family at Hayling Island Doreen celebrated at Wimborne Care Home with an afternoon tea and glass of bubbly.

Born on May 13, 1917, in Magor, Wales, as Gertrude Doreen Adams, Doreen grew up with her step-mother and father, sister and step-siblings. Her mother died when she was 17 months old but she remembers her childhood as a happy one.

Doreen recalls that she didn’t enjoy school and her aspiration was to become a nurse. She started working in a small hospital in Luton where she stayed for two years and then moved on to St James Hospital in London. She says: ‘Nursing was a wonderful job and I loved doing it.’

Doreen Beaven celebrates her 104th birthday at Wimborne Care Home, Hayling Island. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Later, Doreen met her husband when she was working at Salisbury General Hospital. Her husband came in with a family member who was having twins and they became friendly while he was visiting a lot.

The Beavens moved to Hayling Island and have one daughter, Gillian, who lives on Hayling Island. Gillian regularly visits her mother at Wimborne Care Home.

Throughout her life, Doreen has enjoyed singing, painting and knitting which she still does today. She is a self-confessed dog-a-holic and loves a little tipple too.

To celebrate her milestone birthday, Doreen visited Mengham School, Hayling Island, where the children sang to Doreen and prepared three songs: Happy Birthday, Bring Me Sunshine and Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands. Doreen has always loved singing and enjoyed joining in.

Doreen Beaven with some of the 330 cards she recieved at Wimborne Care Home, Hayling Island. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The children also made Doreen cards and gave her a bunch of flowers, over all Doreen had been given 100 cards from the children.

Later on Doreen had a party in the garden under a gazebo with Champagne, cakes, teas and strawberries. She enjoyed this with her daughter Gillian, two grandchildren, two of her five great-grandchildren and little Mocha, one of her family dogs.

Doreen was also visited by ITV News Meridian who interviewed her and her family about her life.

Doreen Beaven with Wimborne mascot, Adele the dog. Picture: Habibur Rahman