Doreen's special 90th birthday message

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 16 November 2020

A Grotton woman who received a Royal accolade for her charitable works celebrated her 90th birthday on Saturday with a special message from Oldham’s Mayor, Cllr Ginny Alexander.

The message to Ellen Doreen Smith, sent because of the covid crackdown, said: “So sorry I can’t help celebrate this special day with you, but all my love and hugs come with the card and flowers I’ve sent. 

“Enjoy celebrating with your family and friends, albeit with the restrictions of lockdown. 

"I’m sure they’ll make it special for you.”

Known as Doreen, Mrs Smith recently moved from her marital home of 70 years to a flat with 24-hour support via MioCare, and then lockdown happened. 

Visits to see Doreen have been difficult and mainly through the window.

Doreen was married to the late Clifford Smith for more than 50 years and has four children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She took up Reiki and got her masters at age 80 and practiced on old people and the sick who attended the heart and stroke clubs in Oldham, despite having had a stroke herself.

Her work led to her being nominated for a Diamond Champion award by the Queen which was presented to her at St James Palace in London by the Duchess of Cornwall a few years ago.

“And even though she struggles with some words, she managed to go at least twice per week, helping people free of charge,” added the mayor.

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