The Mayor of Maidstone drops by Ledian Gardens retirement village to surprise Gwen on her 100th Birthday

Ledian Gardens, a retirement village located in the scenic surroundings of Leeds village near Maidstone, hosted a surprise party on Saturday, July 8th, to commemorate the remarkable 100th birthday of resident Gwen Penn. Ledian Gardens joined forces with Gwen’s family to
organise a special celebration to mark her centenary. This event not only showcased the community spirit at Ledian Gardens but also highlighted the broader community engagement efforts of Inspired Villages.

Gwen was surrounded by her neighbours, 51 friends and family members, and the Mayor of Maidstone, Derek Mortimer. Since moving to the village, Gwen has cultivated a remarkable friendship group that now spans over 40 years, connecting her with residents ranging from 65 to 100 years old. Gwen was presented with a celebratory cake, as well as her birthday card from King Charles. The event was arranged by Gwen’s son David Penn and Albert Sinfield, Village Manager at Ledian Gardens.

Gwen said of the surprise: “It was a pleasure celebrating my day with everyone at Ledian Gardens, when I walked in I was speechless. Thank you to everyone for coming and thank you to my family and the team for organising it.”

Albert said: “It was amazing to see Gwen’s friends and family come together with the rest of the village to celebrate such a significant occasion. This day reinforced the importance of creating inclusive and vibrant spaces where older adults can thrive, find companionship, and
create lasting memories.”

Inspired Villages embraces a diverse range of ages spanning generations within its communities, catering to individuals from 65 to 100 years old and beyond. Although it is welcoming new ‘Baby Boomer’ residents, Gwen was born in the period now referred to as the ‘Greatest Generation’ (1901-1927) who came of age during a period of hardship, as a result of the War and Great Depression. Although her life now is a far cry from that at Ledian Gardens where its state-of-the-art facilities put the holistic wellbeing of its residents front and centre and there is something for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

From yoga classes and nature walks to group exercises and personalised training sessions, residents of all ages can find something that suits their way of life.

Jamie Bunce, CEO of Inspired Villages, says: “Huge congratulations to Gwen on her 100th birthday. It’s great to see how Inspired Villages is continuing to bring older people together in the West Kent area and it’s moments like these that highlight exactly what Inspired Village
is all about. Our villages empower residents to live the later years of their lives to the fullest and it’s wonderful to see another resident celebrate such a milestone occasion.”

To find out more about Ledian Gardens, visit:

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