A TIRELESS fundraiser who has been making a big difference to people’s lives in Worcester for decades has been celebrating reaching a milestone birthday.

Beatrice Furlong has been doing tireless work for the local community for a number of years, particularly with the community centre in Brickfields. Mrs Furlong and late husband, Vincent, first set up a community centre on the King George V playing fields in 1951, and the current centre is currently owned and maintained by the council, with a meeting room named after the Furlong family.

Beatrice’s late husband Vincent fought in the Second World War, and her grandson Nicholas also served in the Armed Forces. Mrs Furlong has been supported by daughter Mal in her community work, which has also included raising money for the Poppy Appeal by selling knitted poppies.

Ahead of her 100th birthday this Sunday, Mrs Furlong enjoyed a celebration at the community centre joined by friends and family, deputy leader of Worcester City Council Adrian Gregson and Mayor Jabba Riaz.

The Tolladine Road resident, who was born in the city in 1918, enjoyed a fish and chips lunch, tea and cake as well as singing from the pupils of Hollymount School.

Mrs Furlong said the event had been a big surprise party for her and she was delighted by the turn out.

Speaking on the secret to living so long, Mrs Furlong said it was keeping busy.

On her fundraising work she added: “I have never thought I did anything special - I just did what was is right.”

Cllr Gregson called Mrs Furlong an "inspirational woman" in helping to change people’s lives for the better. Cllr Riaz added: “She is absolutely amazing - she has lived through so much. Her contribution to Worcester shows how people can be a valuable member of the community."