In celebration of International Women’s day (IWD) on Friday 8 March, we thought who better to give some advice to women living and working in the world today than our oldest female residents. They’ve got a lot of experience behind them; all are over the grand old age of 95!
IWD celebrates women’s social, economical, cultural and political achievements, and aims to push for a more gender balanced world.
The amazing women we spoke to have lived through a lot of change in the attitudes towards women in the last 95+ years and gave us some sound life lessons, some passed through generations, on how to live well no matter what challenges you face:
“My mum always told me to tell the truth because lies will always find you out. She also taught me that actions have consequences, ‘if you make your bed, you have to lie in it’ – you have to follow through on the consequences of your actions. I think if you’re kind and thoughtful to others they will do the same to you and we all need to have a good sense of humour!” – Joan
“I lost my mum at the age of twelve, but I will always remember her and what she told me: be true to yourself, don’t be malicious or unkind and don’t buy things you can’t afford!” – Joan
“Margaret Thatcher and my mother are my most inspirational women. My mum was a good parent and taught me to always be patient and always be kind to others. I looked after her until the day she died. I believe what she said is just as important today; we all need to be more patient and kind to others and should appreciate what we have.” – Doris
“I was always inspired by both my mother and older sister to take good care of myself no matter what. My advice is to go dancing because it makes you feel good (and is good exercise!)” – Beatrice
“The wardens who look after our building are inspirational; no matter how busy they are, they always have time to help us. I think I get a lot of wisdom from church as I pray a lot and believe that you can’t just sit around, you have to keep moving and be active no matter what.” – Mable
“My mother is my biggest inspiration; she raised four children on her own. She taught us to work hard, not to borrow money, to always be truthful, have good values and stick to our principles. My best advice is: if you can’t afford it, don’t have it!” – Vi
“My mum inspired me a lot – she was a hard-working lady. She used to cook for people living in big stately homes. She taught me how to sew and make clothes and was very disciplined. We always had to make our beds and peel vegetable before school which taught me to work hard. I think young women today should save their money and work hard no matter what.” – Betty