Woman says ‘feisty attitude’ secret to long life on her 103rd birthday

Kathleen Smart on her 103rd birthday
Kathleen Smart on her 103rd birthday
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A Steyning resident has said a ‘feisty attitude and strength of mind’ are the key aspects to living a long and healthy life.

Kathleen Smart, a resident at Croft Meadow – a Shaw healthcare run care home in Steyning – celebrated her 103rd birthday earlier this month.

She marked it with a tea party at the home and shared stories from her past with the staff and residents at the care home as well as her friends and family.

Kathleen is the last surviving member of her siblings.

She said: “I found passion for horse riding when I was 50 and I then rode for 15 years.”

Kathleen was drafted to the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) during World War Two because her daughter Valerie – who is now 80 – was over the age of 6.

Throughout her life she never had a job but took up painting in recent years.

The only painting in the whole of Croft Meadow is positioned above her bed.

When asked for her secret to living a long life Kathleen said: “A feisty attitude and strength of mind are my secret to staying young in mind.”

Kathleen was born in Medmenham near Henley in Buckinghamshire and was living in Hurstpierpoint, near Burgess Hill, before moving into Croft Meadow.

Sharalee Thrumble, care home manager for Croft Meadow, said: “It is unbelievable but true – many happy returns to Kathleen.

“We celebrated in style with her with a delightful tea party with her friends and family.

“Kathleen, I want to know your secret to looking so youthful.

“We provide care for a range of older people here at Croft Meadow care home and it has always been a privilege to share the milestone birthdays with our residents.”

Shaw healthcare provides a number of services from comprehensive care packages through to low level support in the community for older people and adults with physical, sensory or mental health support needs.

Shaw believes that wellness, happiness and kindness should be at the heart of all they do.

Croft Meadow is located in Tanyard Lane, Steyning, offering a specialist service including rehabilitation, physical disability and challenging behaviour on a daily basis.