A resident living at an Epping care home, who celebrated her 103rd birthday, says ‘love’ is the key to living a long and happy life.

Dorothy Juniper celebrated her big birthday with an afternoon tea party at Weald Hall Care Home, where she has resided since June.

Despite being a quiet lady who very much enjoys her own company, Dorothy was “very excited” to have 16 members of her family, who travelled far and wide, to be with her on her special day.

Dorothy grew up in Wanstead and was one of four children, leaving school aged 14. She has two sons, as well as her many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She met her husband whilst he was on leave from the army at a friend’s house, when she was 21 years old. Dorothy said it was “love at first sight.” Dorothy herself went on to become a bookkeeper and kept this job throughout the war – she was very happy in her career.

The 103-year old celebrated her milestone birthday in style, with a buffet tea party and opening cards and presents from loved ones.

Dorothy said: “Without a doubt, one of my top tips for living a happy life is love and having a wonderful husband, as well as a happy life together. I’ve also found that a Baileys a day does indeed keep the doctor away!

“Most importantly, spread love to those around you. That’s the best tipple for anyone.”

Danielle Barham, home manager at Weald Hall, said: “It was an honour to join Dorothy in her birthday celebrations. She’s such a beloved member of the home, she inspires us all everyday.”

Despite not being able to walk, Dorothy is easily entertained at Weald Hall. She loves a good natter with the care team and looks forward to her children visiting her.

Weald Hall Care Home, part of the Premium Care Group, offers residential and dementia care, as well as various day care packages. Within the recently refurbished home, residents have access to many facilities including a bakery, cinema room, sensory room, hair salon and large landscaped garden.

For more information about Weald Hall, visit www.wealdhallcarehome.co.uk or call 01992 572427.