Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield woman Winnie Blagden gets 16,000 birthday cards

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Media captionA surprise party was held for Winnie Blagden after a BBC Radio Sheffield appeal

A 99-year-old woman has received 16,000 birthday cards from around the world after an internet appeal went viral.

BBC Radio Sheffield launched the Facebook campaign after learning Winnie Blagden had no surviving family.

Mrs Blagden, who is 100 on Sunday, was earlier presented with sacks of cards and gifts at a surprise birthday party organised by the radio station.

She said she was "overwhelmed" by the response to the appeal, which saw cards come from Singapore, the US and Taiwan.

Image caption Thousands of people responded to the appeal for birthday cards for Winnie Blagden
Image caption Cards arrived from all over the world, including Singapore and the United States

The celebration at Sheffield Town Hall saw Mrs Blagden treated to lunch in the lord mayor's parlour, a champagne reception and entertainment from local musicians and schoolchildren.

She told the crowd: "Everything has been lovely, I'm not used to it. I don't know why they're making all this fuss but I want to thank everyone, it's been beautiful."

Mrs Blagden, from Sheffield, never had children, and has no relatives following the death of her husband George.

BBC Radio Sheffield said its Facebook post calling for birthday cards was seen by six million people.

Image caption Winnie was treated to lunch in the lord mayor's parlour

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