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100-Year-Old Cringleford Care Home Resident Repays 80 Year Old Kindness From Her Former University

A Cringleford care home resident, and former Oxford university student, has celebrated her 100th birthday by making a special donation.

Avril Powell, from Care UK’s Cavell Court, marked the impressive milestone recently when she virtually presented St Hughes College at the University of Oxford with a donation of almost £2,000.

Avril studied Classics at the college during the Second World War, and has many fond memories of her time at Oxford. While studying, her fathers tailor shop in Exeter was bombed, and Avril felt she had to return home and give up her much-loved studies. Her family encouraged her to stay, and St Hughes College kindly funded her to complete the remainder of her degree.

Incredibly grateful for the generosity of the college, and the opportunities university gave her, it was Avril’s wish for her friends and family to make donations to the college in lieu of gifts for her 100th birthday, and she was delighted to raise £1,930 in total.

Going one step further, the team at Cavell Court organised a surprise virtual meeting with the Principal of St Hughes, Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC FRSE, on Avril’s birthday, so that she could make the donation in person, and share her own memories of St Hughes.

Avril said: “I couldn’t believe how much money I raised for the college for my 100th Birthday, and it was a fantastic surprise to be able to thank the college personally for the way it has shaped my life.

“It feels wonderful to have reached 100, and to be able to spend it with my family after the last year was the icing on the cake.”

Karen Curle, Home Manager at Cavell Court, said: “Avril always speaks so fondly of her time at St Hughes College, and so it was no surprise when she asked her family to donate to them instead of buying her a birthday gift.