A CENTENARIAN was thrown a huge “socially distant” party for her 100th birthday while in lockdown.

Jean Scarff reached the milestone on Friday and was set to celebrate the occasion with her family at Godden Lodge Nursing Home in Thundersley.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Celebrations - birthday girl Jean

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Couple - Jean with her late husband Ken

Jean has two daughters, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Many of her family live in America, and were due to fly out to the UK to spend the day with her.

However, due to travel restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the flights were cancelled and her family have not been able to see her.

However, staff at the care home, run by HC-One, decided to throw Jean a party with other residents in the home while ensuring that it observed strict social distancing measures.

Sarah Joy, 36, one of Jean’s grandchildren, lives in Thundersley and has been visiting her by standing outside her window and speaking to her on the phone.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

At a distance - Jean talking to her granddaughter Sarah through the window

She said: “Given the current situation I am not able to be there for her party but we are going to have a big celebration when we are able to.

“The staff at the home have been absolutely brilliant and have really looked after her.

“When I spoke to her through the window she kept telling me I should be going indoors because there might be bombs dropping.

“She watches the news and they’re describing it as a war, so she’s concerned about bombs.”

Jean served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) before she became a full-time mother to her two daughters.

The family still plan to fly out to the UK as soon as the worst of the pandemic passes and the travel restrictions are lifted.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Healthy - Jean with her card from the Queen

Ms Joy added: “The home have taken it really seriously and they’re making sure all their residents are safe, hopefully she has a really good time.

“I have asked her what the secret is for her to reach that age, and she’s told me it’s the determination, you have to want to see the next day.

“She said I have that determination, so she’s really encouraging. She’s really healthy at the moment.”