Sevenoaks School students celebrate local resident’s 101st birthday

Students from Sevenoaks School held a birthday party for local resident, Vicky Lutton, one of the members of the school’s “Thursday Club”. 
Vicky celebrated her landmark 101st birthday on 21st September at the school with a specially baked cake, party food and presents. She belongs to a group of local elderly residents that attends the Thursday Club, held at the Sennocke boarding house at Sevenoaks School. 
Vicky Lutton blowing her birthday cake
The Thursday Club is held weekly and is run by 11 students from Year 10 to Upper Sixth, who are participating in the school’s Voluntary Service Unit’s (VSU) community programme. As part of this, the students socialise and spend time with the residents and enjoy engaging in a range of activities together, which vary each week. Activities include, listening to music performed by students and sharing life experiences.
Vicky has been attending the club for a number of years and has previously celebrated her 99th and 100th birthdays with the students and other members of the club. 
Sevenoaks School students complete weekly voluntary service as part of the International Baccalaureate and the school has over 400 students doing voluntary service at the school every week. Combined, the students log over 30,000 hours of voluntary service every year, helping both the local community and causes further afield.
Vicky Lutton, 101 year-old Sevenoaks resident, says: “We all thoroughly enjoyed it so very much and appreciate all the work involved with balloons, banners, birthday cake, cards, gifts, music and fun and fizz. 
Vicky Lutton receiving presents
“Someone has said, ‘The longer you live, the more birthdays you have,’ and may I add, ‘the better they bloom’. Thank you everyone for such a magnificent occasion.”
Cathy Tse, Upper Sixth student at Sevenoaks School comments: “I have been part of the Thursday Club since I first started boarding at Sevenoaks School and within a year of service, I found myself growing more and more attached to our wonderful weekly visitors. This year’s celebration of Vicky’s 101st birthday was more extravagant than the last (which I didn’t think was possible) and I am awed at how much we can learn from Vicky and the others who have led such long and fulfilled lives.”
Dr Gillian Williams, leader of the Voluntary Service Unit (VSU) at Sevenoaks School, says: “Running the Thursday club is a wonderful opportunity to bring young and old together, to learn from each other. The intelligence, sensitivity and inspiration that our lovely visitors bring to the club has meant so much. Our students now have plenty of role models to look up to, and our elderly folk have a good reason to laugh (the students can certainly be hilarious!). Our group includes poets, painters, carers and many ladies who have travelled all over the world, with many stories to tell.”
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