Kingfisher Dementia Club: Celebrating 100 years of Jo

February 29, 2024

Last week, we celebrated a 100th birthday at our Kingfisher Dementia Club in St Albans. Our wonderful client, Jo, was thoroughly spoiled with sweet treats, balloons, and entertainment.

Kingfisher and 10-2 Club friends gathered in the restaurant hall at the Jubilee Centre for a vibrant celebration of Jo reaching 100. The local nursery group even came in to wish her a happy birthday! We hope Jo had a fantastic time celebrating turning 100 with us. Read on for Jo’s heart-warming story, from a farming childhood to reaching this milestone birthday with us at HILS.


Jo’s story

Jo with mum and horse, Dolly

Jo grew up on a family farm in Leicestershire with two elder sisters and a brother, where she worked daily from 7.30am till 4pm. The farm involved lots of manual labour from an early age, such as haymaking where she would throw hay up onto a cart using a long pole. Jo looked after the farm animals and enjoyed taking regular trips across the fields to tend to the chicken hut, and spending time with her beloved horse, Dolly. She loved to feed calves with the milk that her father brought back from the milk round. Sometimes, she would sneak into the milk parlour, skim cream off the top of the vat, and spread it on a slice of bread. She’s always saying, ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’, with a lifetime fondness for sweet treats!

At the age of 21, Jo married her life partner, Arthur, who she knew from school. She lived through World War II, where Arthur served as a gunner in the army before becoming a professional painter and decorator. Jo worked as a hosiery machinist for most of her life, making outdoor clothing using sewing and button-holing machines, alongside some private cleaning work. She took a break to have her daughter, Yvonne, shortly after the end of the war. In retirement, Jo particularly enjoyed attending a club where she took part in various activities and went on many coach trips.

In 2016, Jo and Yvonne decided to make the move to Hertfordshire together to be closer to one of Jo’s three grandsons. She settled in well, making many friends, and enjoys meeting daily to chat with fellow residents. She thrives on her day centre outings during the week, and she has been coming to HILS’ Kingfisher Dementia Club since 2017. Jo consistently brings joy and laughter to the Jubilee Centre with her warmth and bright smile. Happy 100th birthday, Jo!

Staff member smiling and looking at happy Dementia Club client

Our Kingfisher Dementia Clubs offer an exciting mix of activities for people with mild to moderate dementia. The clubs are run by highly trained staff, supported by a team of caring volunteers. Clients can attend without a loved one or carer.