Two milestone birthdays were celebrated by an Epping Forest charity’s befriending club last week.

Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF) marked the 102nd birthday of one of its clients, Doris, and Alf Burgess, a volunteer who celebrated his 90th birthday.

VAEF celebrated Doris’ special birthday at Hunter’s Meet in Hatfield Heath. Doris, who has been attending VAEF’s befriending clubs for the past five years, was overwhelmed by the afternoon and was thrilled when the VAEF staff and volunteers presented her with a birthday cake and gifts. These included a basket of flowers, a voucher for afternoon tea at Mulberry House and a rose bush which she will enjoy watching bloom.

Epping Forest Guardian:

A delighted Doris receives her birthday cake

Julie Bristow, who organises the clubs, said: “Doris is an amazing lady and an inspiration to us all - well done! We all look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you!”

VAEF also celebrated the 90th birthday of Alf, who is one of the service’s long-standing volunteers.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Alf with his birthday cake

Julie said: “Alf has helped us for the last six years and is just an amazing person. It’s hard to believe that he’s 90 years old – he’s got the energy of a 50 year old!

“We have all had a fantastic time and will remember today for a very long time”.

VAEF befriending clubs operate three times a week and also hold regular day trips out ensuring isolated people remain socially connected.

For more information about VAEF’s befriending services, visit or call 07708 171 116.