Robin Smith has just set a very special milestone. The pensioner has become the oldest living person in the UK with Down’s syndrome after celebrating his 78th birthday on Wednesday. He toasted the important day with his favourite game bingo and some cake. Mr Smith has survived all these years despite his life expectancy being just 12-years-old when he was born in 1941 due to his condition. ‘I’m very happy that’s it my birthday today,’ Mr Smith said while at Northleigh residential home, where he has lived since 1986. He added: ‘It’s important to have an active lifestyle and keep as busy as possible. I like to do a bit of dancing whenever I can.’
Mr Smith’s cousin Janet Whitton, 75, said: ‘He’s a happy go lucky sort of chap. He’s had a great life. ‘He likes horse racing. He loves the thrill and spectacle of it.’ Staff believe Mr Smith from Kettering, Northamptonshire, is the oldest living person in the UK with Down’s syndrome after George Widhurst from Nottingham turned 77 in September. He keeps busy by regularly visiting his local church and a day centre for Down’s and also helping out doing odd jobs around Northleigh. He also enjoys yoga, dancing and aerobics.
Lauren Fulcher, a carer at Northleigh added: ‘He’s a loving, caring gentlemen. He’s ever so calm and would do anything for anyone, he’s very much part of the furniture here. ‘I’ve been here for 13 years and he’s like a Granddad to all of my colleagues. Michaela Kennerley, the registered manager of Northleigh said that Robin is something of an icon at the home. She said: ‘He’s got loads of friends, he’s very very popular. ‘Seeing Robin just brightens your day.’