A FORMER nurse has celebrated her 109th birthday with a special performance from world famous singer Katherine Jenkins.

Audrey Grogan celebrated her special day at the Blackbrook House care home in Colchester where staff and fellow residents made sure she enjoyed a proper celebration.

Audrey, who attributes her health and long life to drinking a cup of Ovaltine every night, enjoyed a tea party at her request with refreshments for everyone.

The staff also arranged a special birthday cake for her with daffodils on it - her favourite flower.

Audrey also received a special present ahead of her birthday when mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins sang her an acapella version of You Are My Sunshine as a birthday present.

Katherine sang for Audrey during a virtual performance from her garden which was organised by Vodafone and live streamed to hundreds of care homes across the country.

Audrey was deeply touched by the kind gesture saying: “It was so lovely to hear Katherine sing and I was really touched by everyone wishing me happy birthday.

“I feel so touched to have such wonderful people looking after me on my big day.

“You are my sunshine is one of my favourite songs and Katherine’s version was one of the best I’ve heard.”

“I’m so happy to have the chance to have a nice cup of tea and celebration with a bit of colour and laughter for my birthday.”

Audrey was orphaned as a child and worked as a nurse for most of her adult life. She met her late husband, John, when he was in her hospital suffering from pneumonia.


  • Audrey Grogan at her 108th birthday party pictured with staff Sam Cook, Annette Watts, Mark Hewett and Debbie Stonham

The couple had no children but Audrey was an active part of her church community.

She moved into Blackbrook House in November 2018.

Kylie Greatorex, manager of Anchor’s Blackbrook House, said: “It was such an honour to see Katherine perform and it was lovely to hear her sing for Audrey.

“Audrey is simply an inspiration to all of us here at Blackbrook House.

“She’s such a thoughtful and kind person, it’s really wonderful to be able to celebrate such an amazing milestone with her.”