Kathleen’s 100th means percentage of centenarians at Whiteley now 15 times more than rest of UK

31st January 2020


Kathleen celebrating her 100th birthday


Whiteley resident, Kathleen Brown’s recent 100th Birthday, was a double celebration for our historic retirement village as the percentage of our resident population aged over 100 is now 15 times [1] that of the wider UK. This figure is made even more impressive by the fact that most residents who are housed by our charitable Trust, are of limited means.

Kathleen cutting her cake

Kevin Humphrys, Director of Care at Whiteley Homes Trust, which manages the Village, said: “In line with national longevity data, our number of centenarians has been growing over the years, but we were staggered to discover just how well we compared to the wider population.

“With villagers aged from 65 through to 106, I believe our success is testament to a vibrant community coupled with award winning [2] care and support which not only enhances residents’ life chances but their sense of well-being too – people love living at Whiteley.”

Kathleen, our latest centenarian, celebrated her extra special birthday with four generations of her family and friends. This incredible lady, who appears many years younger than she actually is, was very sure how she’d made it so far though: “It’s quite simple really” she said, “I have a wonderful family and lots of friends who have always been there to support me. Also, I can’t fault the care at Whiteley, I am so happy living here and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Life wasn’t always easy for former civil servant Kathleen however, losing her beloved husband when he was just 55. But with continued support from her two grown up children, Pamela and Ken and their families, she continued to live independently in Kent for another 30 years or so before moving to Whiteley Village at the age of 80.

Daughter, Pamela Bebbington, said: “We’re so proud of mum, she’s been amazing. I was very relieved though when we managed to get her a place at Whiteley, where she’s made some wonderful friends.”

Kathleen with her family L-R John and Pam Bebbington, Caroline & Ken Brown & daughter

Dr Alison Armstrong, Director of Community & Foundation added “As research conducted here in 2017 [3] showed, on average our residents live up to five years longer than they’d be expected to elsewhere. Through the work of the Whiteley Foundation for Ageing Well we’re seeking to understand this better, and to learn from the wisdom and experience of our oldest residents, so we can share our collective knowledge more widely. In the meantime, we’re focused on continually improving what we do to help ensure even more Whiteley Villagers live longer, healthier and happier lives.”


[1] Currently 1.5% of the population of Whiteley retirement Village are centenarians. According to ONS the UK population aged over 65 is 11.8 million of which 13,170 or 0.1% are centenarians.

[2] Our nursing care facilities at Whiteley Village won the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Platinum Award 2019 and our nursing and residential care facilities were joint finalists in the GSF Care Home of the Year Awards 2019.

[3] In February 2017 the Whiteley Foundation for Ageing Well published ground-breaking research into longevity at Whiteley Village, conducted by Cass Business School which was sponsored by the Company of Actuaries Charitable Trust.

Birthday Telegrams from HM The Queen and Theresa Coffey, Minister for Work and Pensions
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