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Widow (100) with no surviving family receives 16,000 birthday cards and surprise party

TrendingBy Shuki Byrne
Surprise! Winnie Blagden at her birthday party after receiving 16,000 cards
Surprise! Winnie Blagden at her birthday party after receiving 16,000 cards

A widow with no surviving close family had a 100th birthday to remember after well-wishers threw her a surprise party at Sheffield Town Hall.

Winnie Blagden lives alone and has no children so BBC Radio Sheffield put an appeal on Facebook asking people to send cards and were stunned by the response.

The appeal was seen by more than 2.5 million people, with presents and 16,000 cards sent to the radio station, while people from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Romania and Japan responded online.

The station took Mrs Blagden, who turns 100 on Sunday, to Sheffield Town Hall where she celebrated in style.

She said: "It's lovely. I'm not used to this, it's all a bit overwhelming. It's beautiful and I just wish I could thank everyone individually."

BBC reporter Kat Harbourne, who helped lead the campaign by asking listeners to send in cards and letters, said: "I met one of Winnie's carers, Sue Pinder, at a BBC roadshow earlier this month. Sue was worried that, as Winnie has no family, she would not have a very good birthday.

"We got thinking and decided to put out a small appeal to see if we could get a hundred cards or letters for Winnie to open on her birthday. We've been staggered by the response."