A woman who is celebrating her 100th birthday says “being around family and friends” is the secret to her long and happy life.

Kay Smith enjoyed two parties to celebrate the milestone – one with care home staff and residents, and another with friends and family.

She grew up in Maldon and worked in the Voluntary Aid Detachment, a voluntary unit of civilians providing nursing care for military personnel during the Second World War, before moving to Stisted, near Braintree, and beginning work as a hairdresser.

Asked if she had any advice for younger generations, Kay said: “I’ve learned to always speak the truth and to be nice to everyone.”

Kay met and married her late husband Reg and the couple adopted daughter Philippa. Kay now has three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

She is also a champion golfer and was a member of Braintree Golf Club for 24 years. In 1998, at the age of 81, she won the club’s Tyrell Trophy.

Kay now lives at Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court.

The care home’s Dani Lane said: “She is a remarkable woman and much loved at our home.

“She told me she felt like the Queen, having two birthdays.”