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100 Years Young

Published: 18 Oct 2017


At Toynbee Hall we are really proud of our long history and our strong links with people from all across our local community. For many local residents, our Well-Being Centre, Advice Centre, and the networks and activities they enjoy through them, are an important part of their lives.

The bonds that people create through coming together at Toynbee Hall are very powerful, so it was with huge pleasure that we welcomed so many guests from the local community to celebrate the 100th birthday of Manny Blankett, a local resident who is a regular participant in a wide range of activities at Toynbee Hall.

Manny turned 100 on Tuesday 17th October and the centenary celebrations took place today, Wednesday 18th, here at our Well-Being Centre with many of his friends and family.

Manny first visited Toynbee Hall after World War 2 and fondly remembers taking part in Tea Dances at the Hall. More recently he started attending the Well-Being Centre on a regular basis in 2013 and taking part in a wide range of social and other activities..

The celebrations began with a traditional Birthday-Party meal where Manny and his friends were joined by Toynbee Hall staff and volunteers, and included a presentation of TWO cakes – each with sets of candles to blow out. There were lots of cards and gifts along with several renditions of 'Happy Birthday to You' sung very loudly by the many party-goers and the theme continued after the food with a classic sing-along enjoyed by all.

A devoted life-long Spurs fan, Manny was very happy to receive from Tottenham Hotspur a pendant signed by all the current team along with a personal letter from Team Manager Mauricio Pochettino. Manny was also surprised and delighted to receive a congratulatory message from Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, as he has been a supporter for many years. As well as the video message Mr Corbyn also sent Manny a personal gift.

Toynbee Hall would like to wish Manny a very Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day, and for many more to come. The network that he is part of here at Toynbee Hall is very strong, as are our partnerships with a wide range of other organisations in Tower Hamlets, the City of London and beyond, so our team were very pleased to have been able to host and take part in this special occasion.