Widow who received over 16,000 birthday cards dies

A widow with no family who received 16,000 cards from strangers for her 100th birthday has died.

Winnie Blagden, who lived alone and had no children, received birthday wishes from across the world in May after a Facebook appeal by BBC Radio Sheffield went viral.

Blagden died at her home in Sheffield on Sunday night, a spokeswoman for the BBC said.

The radio station launched the appeal after being informed by a care worker that Blagden had no surviving family to help her celebrate the landmark birthday.

The Facebook post was seen by six million people.

British prime minister David Cameron and US actor Dustin Hoffman were among those who sent cards, while gifts included 100 pink roses, a stay in a hotel, a locket, fish and chips, pizza, personalised perfume, and even a trip out in a limousine.

Thousands of people from the US, Australia, New Zealand, Romania, and Japan responded to the appeal online.

Blagden, whose husband George died 30 years ago, was taken to Sheffield Town Hall to celebrate her birthday.

Martyn Weston, managing editor of BBC Radio Sheffield, said: “Winnie’s story touched the hearts of people around the world and the response to our appeal was extraordinary and moving.

“Winnie was a little overwhelmed by what happened, as we all were. But she thoroughly deserved and enjoyed the attention.

“She was a lovely woman and it is wonderful to think our listeners, and kind-hearted people from around the world, came together to make her last birthday so special.”


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