Olive, 102, helps raise awareness of dementia

Olive Grieveson celebrates her birthday.
Olive Grieveson celebrates her birthday.

A centenarian celebrated her 102nd birthday while raising awareness during an international event.

Olive Grieveson, from Seaham, celebrated her birthday at a World Dementia Awareness Day event held at Blackhall Community centre yesterday.

The annual event, which aims to raise awareness of the condition, was organised by care staff from The Hospital of God, who presented Mrs Grieveson with flowers to mark the occasion.

Mrs Grieveson who left school aged 14 to work as a house maid in Harrogate, was able to enjoy the company of more than 100 other dementia sufferers during the event.

The Hospital of God runs day centres for patients in Greatham, Horden, Seaham and Wheatley Hill, as well as a home visit service.

Great niece Lynn Thompson said despite her condition she is ‘fiercely independent’, living at her own home assisted by Hospital of God carers.

“She has worked hard all her life – she had had a lot of jobs, from a housemaid to a shop assistant at Woolworths,” said Lynn. “She was well known for being the best baker with her pastry, which she put down to the fact she had cold hands!

“She loves company and goes out knitting and to the pier in Seaham.”

Married to Norman Grieveson in 1963, aged 48, Mrs Grieveson had no children, but is close to her great-niece and great-great-nephews ,who she loved to bake for.

“She is a lovely lady who loves to talk about her past,” added Sue Speckman, from the Hospital of God.

“She is a lively character who is bubbly and always laughing.”