A DORSET care home resident was surprised to receive more than 300 goodwill messages on her 100th birthday.

Staff at Abbey View in Sherborne knew that Marjorie Potter only had a few family members to help her celebrate her big day, and so decided to invite their community contacts to send her cards too.

But staff were shocked when a whopping 337 cards showed up for the resident’s milestone birthday.

Marjorie, a former post office worker and boys’ school secretary, said she was “thrilled” with the delivery.

She said: “It was all so unexpected. I couldn’t believe so many people wanted to wish me a happy birthday. I was presented with this huge pile of cards and I opened and read every one of them.”

Home manager of the Colten Care facility, Sarah Harper, said the aim of reaching out to the community was to gather and present 100 cards, one for each of Marjorie’s years.

“We couldn’t believe the response,” said Sarah.

“We had gathered 318 cards by the morning of Marjorie’s birthday and the final count was an amazing 337. I thank everyone who contributed.

"It really made Marjorie feel very special. She is a quiet and genteel lady, always with a ready smile. The surprise she had on her birthday has kept that lovely smile going.”

The well-wishers included school and nursery representatives, and members of the Postcards of Kindness social media initiative.

Marjorie also had a surprise Covid-safe visit from children at Sherborne’s Forget Me Not day nursery.

The children brought along a card of their own and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ outside her window.

Marjorie was able to see friends and family over Skype and chefs at the care home baked a birthday cake especially for the occasion.

Born in 1921 in Barry, South Wales, Marjorie went on to work at a local boys’ school there.

She met her husband, a police officer, in a Paignton dance hall while on holiday in 1954.

The couple moved around the south west, eventually settling in Dorset, and were married for 67 years.

Although she has no children of her own, Marjorie is very close to her two nephews.

Asked for her secret of longevity, Marjorie said: “Having good parents and a wonderful husband. Also, I’ve never smoked and I always kept myself fit by dancing.”

Get more Salisbury news.

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

Email newsdesk@salisburyjournal.co.uk with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.