A lonely widower UK Royal Airforce veteran is set to receive more than 1,000 cards for his 101st birthday after kind-hearted care home staff appealed to strangers to help make his day special.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, Jack Annall will not be able to get a visit from his daughter Mary as she lives in Australia
So in order to prevent him from feeling lonely as he approaches 101, Elderly care home manager Vicky Gudgin, 32, appealed to the public for cards to be sent to him at the care facility in Halifax, West Yorkshire.
The response so far has been amazing, with more than 700 cards already sent while it’s reported that hundreds more are still at the post office.
Ms Gudgin said: ‘I knew he was feeling a little bit down about not being able to see his daughter and I thought, what can we do to lift his spirits?
I thought, let’s get the community involved and the extent it has is incredible.’
She initially asked colleagues and residents at other care homes to send cards, but the appeal went viral once it was posted on social media and hundreds of birthday messages started arriving from all over the world.
Annall is now set to get a visit from the air force and local mayor, as well as enjoying a brass band concert on his birthday day this Thursday, August 19.
Ms Gudgin said: ‘jack is a wonderful person and we really want to make the day special for him.
‘Knowing Jack, he wouldn’t want a big party – I just thought it would be nice to get a few cards for him.
‘Initially, I wanted to get 101 cards but we’ve already had 700 delivered.
‘We’ve got 200 on the way from ex-servicemen and another from a local group.
‘We’re well on course to get more than 1,000.’
Ms Gudgin added : ‘We’ve had businesses and people offering to send presents and arrange entertainment. We’ve had singers offer to come and perform.
‘But Jack likes to be low-key so we’ve tried to keep it that way as best we can.
‘He’ll have a visit from an RAF representative, the mayor is coming to see him and we have a brass band playing for him because he loves brass bands.
‘We’re keeping the cards a surprise for him though.’
Mr Annall served as a joiner in the Royal Airforce for more than four years during the Second World War as part of Number 617 Squadron and worked on Mosquito planes.
He has video calls with his daughter twice a week and his niece also visits once a week, but he has no grandchildren.