Olive’s milestone birthday gift

Olive Simmons, who turned 100 and donated �300 to Brian House to mark the landmark occasion
Olive Simmons, who turned 100 and donated �300 to Brian House to mark the landmark occasion
Share this article
Have your say

Kind-hearted Olive Simmons decided to do something really special for her 100th birthday.

The generous Blackpool centenarian asked for donations for Brian House Children’s Hospice, instead of presents, to mark the landmark occasion.

The great-grandmother-of-nine and grandmother-of-six spent her big day with family and friends to celebrate.

But having supported Bispham-based Trinity hospice in the past, she was determined the children at Brian House should benefit from her special birthday.

Olive is originally from Standish, near Wigan, but moved to Blackpool in 1954, with her husband and four children to help a family member run a guest house in the resort.

She left school at just 14 years of age and went to work as a silk weaver, which took two years of training before she and her peers could progress.

Janet Atkins, campaigns and lottery fund-raiser at the hospice, met Olive, who handed her a cheque for £300.

She said the hospice did sometimes get donations from local residents in lieu of birthday and wedding presents, but it was certainly unusual to share in a 100th birthday celebration.

She said: “What a lovely lady and what a generous gesture to ask for donations for Brian House on her 100th birthday. It was a real privilege to meet Olive and hear about her remarkable life.

“It costs more than £1m to run Brian House each year, but we get very little central funding and rely on the generosity of people in the local community to keep our doors open.

“We currently have more than 80 local children in our care and demand for our services increases year-on-year.

“It’s really heart-warming one of the Fylde coast’s oldest residents is helping some of the youngest.

“A huge thank you to Olive and her friends and family for thinking of Brian House and supporting us in this way.”