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Maths-loving Betty Says Age is Just a Number

 At Bernard Sunley, the Woking-based nursing and dementia care home run by charity Friends of the Elderly, numbers and maths enthusiast, Margaret ‘Betty’ Carr, has had a wonderful day celebrating her 87th birthday with her family and care home friends. The care home team made sure Betty had a day to remember, complete with all her favourite things and, of course, a delicious birthday cake.

Betty, who has been a resident at Bernard Sunley since February this year, moved to the care home to be closer to her daughter. “My daughter and I thought that Bernard Sunley was the ideal choice for me as it’s close to where my daughter lives and is such a lovely place with so much going on,” said Betty. “I’ve been so busy since I got here, it’s wonderful.”

Betty, whose real name is Margaret, lived and grew up in Brixton, South East London. “My real name is Margaret, but everyone calls me Betty. When I was born, my Father went to register my birth at the local registry office, and he called me Margaret. My Mother was very cross about it as she and my Grandmother had wanted to call me Betty. So, even though my real name is Margaret, I have always been called Betty,” Betty added.

“During the War, my family and I remained in London as my Father was an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Warden. His main task was to try to protect people during the frequent and scary air raids. After the enemy planes had dropped their bombs and the raids were over, my Father would rescue people from the rabble, he was very brave,” continued Betty. “However, when the bombing was very intense in London, my Mother and I moved to Bournemouth to live with my Aunt for a while. We didn’t stay for a long time as my Father was still in London and my Mother decided we should to go back there so we could all be together.”

Betty enjoyed her school years and was always a very good, well-behaved child and not a troublemaker. “My best friend was Silvia and I have so many fond memories of our time at school,” said Betty.

“Silvia and I attended The New Park Road School in South London. Not too far from Brixton, Clapham and Brockwell Park. It’s now changed its name to The Richard Atkins Primary School. It’s a grand, Victorian building, so much so that in 1981 the main building was listed under The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act.

“My favourite lesson was Maths as I have always loved everything to do with numbers. In class I loved problem solving and, even if I do say so myself, I was rather good at it. My love of numbers stayed with me as became a Bookkeeper, which I enjoyed, but I really always wanted to be a Teacher,” Betty continued.

In 1958, when she was 22-years-old, Betty married her husband David at Brixton Town Hall. The happy couple then decided to leave London and move to Norfolk where they raised their two children, Carol and Steven.

“Reading was my passion, I just read all the time and I also really enjoyed cooking. Now I don’t read as much as I used to as I have so many new hobbies since moving to Bernard Sunley. I like to get involved and take part and am quite partial to playing Boules, Scrabble, Dominoes and Bingo – well, Bingo is to do with numbers. I also enjoy the sing-alongs we have, it’s so nice to sing along to a happy song. I love the piano concerts and the visiting entertainers who put on great shows for us as well,” Betty continued.

However, Betty doesn’t stop there, she’s always on the go. “I love spending time in the care home’s lovely garden and conservatory and never miss a Coffee Morning. I also get my weekly pamper when I visit our wonderful Hairdresser. Like I said, there really is always something going on here and I don’t want to miss a thing.”

“Betty is a lovely lady who loves to participate in most of our wide and varied activities, she likes to get involved and have fun every day. She is super friendly and gets on well with all the residents – all of whom are now firm friends – and, of course, our care team. Betty is a wonderful person to have in our Bernard Sunley family,” said Andy Cumper, the Registered Manager at Bernard Sunley.

Betty is such a wonderful lady with a beautiful smile. She loves a good joke and told me a maths one the other day which had me in stiches,” said Monika Ahmed, Bernard Sunley’s

Activity Coordinator. “How do you make the number seven even? – Subtract the S. That’s Betty, full of fun and laughter.”

“I’ve had a really special birthday with all my family and friends, it’s been wonderful. We were chatting over a tasty cup of tea and somebody asked if I could go back in time and speak to my younger self, what would I say? I think it’s quite easy. I’d say make the most of every day, enjoy life and don’t worry too much about the little things – that’s what I do every day,” concluded Betty.

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