Two Jewish Care members – Beattie Orwell and Millie Finger – will this week be acting as TV presenters, taking to the airwaves to introduce the likes of Countdown and Hollyoaks.
In celebration of 100 years since British women were granted the vote, the centenarians, who are regulars at the charity’s Brenner Centre at Stepney Jewish Community Centre, will be recalling their memories from the early 20th century from a comfy armchair, before introducing their assigned TV show.
Beattie, who features in this week’s 100-second interview in the Jewish News, was born during the end of the first world war in Aldgate, and worked as an over locker in a men’s trouser factory.
Elected as a local councillor in Tower Hamlets, she met the Queen and the Prime Minister of the time, Edward Heath and is proud to be the longest known member of the Labour Party.
She has three children, 12 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and four great, great grandchildren – the newest of whom are twin boys born earlier this year.
Millie, who was born and raised in the East End, lives alone in a council flat in the East End. Featuring in Jewish Care’s campaign dinner video, she turned 100 last March and celebrated with a party thrown for her at the Community Centre.
Her daughter, who was her lifeline, passed away a few years ago and the only family she has left is a niece and nephew neither of whom live nearby. She calls the Jewish Care Centre her lifeline, “giving me a reason to live”.
Childhood friends living on the same East End estate, they lost contact with each other after they married, but met again on Beattie’s first day at the Centre – and have remained close friends ever since.
Lisa Wimborne, Head of PR at Jewish Care said: “Jewish Care were delighted to be able to facilitate this meaningful opportunity for Millie and Beattie. As a society we don’t do enough to recognise and celebrate the contribution, experiences and wisdom of older people – this campaign does just that.
“Millie and Beattie’s friends at the Brenner Centre at Stepney Community Centre are looking forward to seeing a screening of the clips together this week. The members were also delighted to hear that Channel 4 will be paying the day centre a location fee that will be spent on a special activity for everyone’s benefit.”