When Minnie Nicol was asked what she wanted for her 100th birthday, she decided the joy of helping others would be the best gift.
The great-grandmother will mark becoming a centenarian today at a party filled with friends and family at her home in Heriot Grange, Hartlepool.
But rather than be given presents she has no need for, Minnie decided she would prefer others to benefit from her big day.
Instead, donations will be made in her name to Macmillan to help its efforts to support cancer patients and their families.
Her daughter Dorothy Robinson, 77, said: “When we asked her what she wanted for her birthday she said she didn’t want anything, she wanted to do something for a good cause.
“My daughter-in-law lost her mam a couple of years ago to cancer and we just thought Macmillan would be a good place for the money.”
When we asked her what she wanted for her birthday she said she didn’t want anything, she wanted to do something for a good cause.Dorothy Robinson
In addition to her party, Minnie was looking forward to the arrival of her card from the Queen in the run up to her milestone day.
After Minnie moved into Heriot Grange, off Catcote Road, she took charge of its bingo sessions and day trip plans.
She has previously lived with her late husband James, who died aged 69, in Rodney Street and Innes Road.
James had worked on the buses and at Gales garage after serving in the Army, while Minnie, nee Carrick, started her career delivering tins of milk around her home village of Seaton Carew on behalf of a local farmer.
She went on to work as a home help.
Minnie, who was born in Corners Court in Seaton, where she lived in a single room with her parents, sister and two brothers, married James aged 19.
They went on to become parents to Jean, who died when she was just six years old, Dorothy, Keith, now 79, and Stephen, 58, and to become grandparents of nine.