A CARE home resident was “overjoyed” to be reunited with her family from overseas to celebrate her 101st birthday.

Lilian “Lily” Thornett had not seen her son and grandchildren, who live in America, for more than a year because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

But with some extra planning and some time spent in quarantine, her family were able to join her for an emotional reunion and a birthday garden party at Heather View care home in Crowborough.

Lily said: “It was so lovely so see my family again. It was a very special day and we had a lot of fun.”

The family celebrated Lily’s milestone birthday with a special cake and a performance from an Elvis impersonator.

Natasha King, home manager at Heather View, said: “There’s nothing like toasting a big milestone with loved ones, so we’re thrilled Lily’s family was able to join her this year.

“It was a very emotional day for Lily, but the smile on her face when she was reunited with her family said it all.

“We always like to throw a big party for celebrations, but we knew this one had to be extra special – so we invited an Elvis impersonator to the home and decorated the garden to make it the perfect party location.

“It’s been a challenging year, but it finally feels like things are slowly returning to normal, as more and more residents are reunited with loved ones.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating more big milestones with Lily and her family in the future.”

Lily was born on June, 24 1920 in London and moved to Heather View in September last year.

After she left school, she became a milliner and was offered the opportunity to move to Paris to further her training in 1939 – unfortunately, war broke out and she became a telephone operator at Greenwich Town Hall instead, assisting the emergency services.

Lily and her husband Victor married in Greenwich, London, in 1942 and welcomed their first and only child Brian the same year, before later retiring to Uckfield.

A keen gardener, Lilian’s love of the outdoors started in her younger years, as she was often found climbing trees in Greenwich Park or exploring nearby seaside towns on family days out.

After she moved to Uckfield, she enjoyed visiting local stately homes and gardens.