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Triple 101st birthday celebration for Faversham friends Doris Johnson, Marion Fitall and Winifred Evans

These three inspirational ladies now have an incredible combined aged of 303.

Friends Doris Johnson, Marion Fitall and Winifred Evans may have had a few too many candles to blow out on their cake over the past two weeks as they celebrated their 101st birthdays.

The centenarians all live in the Carnalea care home in London Road, Faversham, where they still enjoy music sessions, cross-stitch, arts and crafts, Scrabble and even some ‘chair-aerobics’ – plus the occasional wine and wisdom evening.

Marion Fitall, Doris Johnson and Winifred Evans are all 101
Marion Fitall, Doris Johnson and Winifred Evans are all 101

Activities coordinator Carrie McCarthy is passionate about making every day entertaining and special for every resident at the home, regardless of their age.

She said: “We like to keep things moving here and make sure we have a full agenda of activities which cater to all the resident’s interests and needs.

“Not all care homes are like this, but we think it is really important for everyone to stay active, enjoy different activities and enjoy every single day.

“These women are absolutely incredible and it is fantastic how active they all still are.

“It’s truly about keeping yourself going.”

Marion grew up and lived in Maidstone for many years and remembers life before and immediately after the war.

"These women are absolutely incredible and it is fantastic how active they all still are" - Carrie McCarthy, activities coordinator

She says she used to play with her friends in the nearby fields, but when the war arrived, the fun seemed to come to an end.

Later on, Marion was a typist for Kent County Council and married her husband when she was aged 50.

She has always loved art and still enjoys painting classes at Carnalea.

Asked what her secret is to a long life, she said: “I never use soap on my face and I have never really drunk alcohol.

“I don’t believe in drinking too much. You can carry on if you do not weaken.”

Doris, a great-great grandmother, celebrated her 100th birthday with a bright pink limousine ride picking her up from Carnelea, but this year’s celebrations were a little quieter with a family meal.

Born in Deptford, Doris remembers being cradled by her mother and hearing the bombs drop around them.

A lover of snooker, Downton Abbey and Strictly Come Dancing, she used to work on a telephone switchboard and for the Post Office.

One of her greatest loves was dancing, but she admitted: “I think I’m too old for that now.”

The staff at Carnalea are keen to keep their residents integrated with society.

They have formed links with Faversham primary schools, where the children come to visit the home and have set up a monthly restaurant where residents and their families can enjoy a meal as if they were out and about.

Carrie adds: “This is so important so the residents can still feel part of society and continue living a normal, happy life.”

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