A binman who surprised his favourite customer on her 100th birthday has revealed he hopes she’ll live until she’s 110 – despite her not ‘letting him get a word in edgeways’ when he picks up her refuse every week.
Kidderminster pensioner Dorothy Ballard, affectionately known as ‘Mercy’, opened the door on her milestone birthday to her 30-year-old binman, Ben Bird, singing happy birthday and presenting her with a cake with candles.
Ben and his fellow binmen urge her to blow out the candles and make a wish, jokingly adding she should ‘live until 105’, as she chuckles and brushes them off.
The pair, who regularly chat on Thursday mornings as Ben goes down Mercy’s path to help her with her bins appeared on This Morning to talk about their friendship.
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Kind Kidderminster binman Ben Bird, 30, helps his favourite resident Dorothy Ballard – known as Mercy – every Thursday with her bins. This week, he surprised her on her 100th birthday with a cake and candles, something she told This Morning ‘she’ll never forget’
The bin collectors arrived on the doorstep of Mercy with a cake lit with candles. They urged her to blow out the candles and make a wish
The pair laughed and joked as he told Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford that the Thursday morning chats were often a one-sided affair with Mercy doing all the talking
Eamonn and Ruth raised a glass to Mercy as she showed them her telegram from the Queen
Mercy, who has three children, 11 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren and 11 great great grandchildren, told the show’s hosts how they first got chatting eight years ago.
The centenarian told presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: ‘The thing is, I have to have the bins just by the door because I can’t get down the path. He’s a friendly lad, I look forward to him coming. I’m overwhelmed by this. We both are. When they all come up together I’ll never forget it.’
She revealed that he talks about his young family and that they had a special moment when he told he’d called his daughter Daisy, the name of her grandmother.
The binman said that he’s fascinated by the tales Mercy has to tell him. He said: ‘ She was born in 1919 and is 70 years older than me. We chat about my family and her family, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He joked that she ‘never lets me talk – this is what it’s like every Thursday morning.’
She told him: ‘Thank you Ben for being so friendly before adding ‘He said I’ll live to 107 – I went to shoot him with my stick!’
Ben appeared shocked as the show told his they had a surprise for him too, thanking him for his kindness with a holiday for his family to Morocco
The This Morning hosts laughed when Mercy told him she’d ‘shoot Ben with her stick’ if he kept going on about how she’s going to live for another ten years
The 100-year-old woman known as Mercy wept tears of joy at the act of kindness from the bin collectors who surprised her with a birthday cake to celebrate her birthday
The bin collectors had carefully walked up the garden path of their favourite customer with a pink birthday cake
Mercy also revealed that she’d got a telegram from the Queen to celebrate her big day. She said ‘I’m so bewildered, I can’t take it all in.’
Some three million people have now seen the video, which was shared on Reddit by user Boldstyle1, Mercy’s granddaughter.
The video shows the bin collectors in their hi-visibility jackets carefully lighting the candles on the pink cake.
They ring the doorbell and patiently waited for Mercy to appear while singing to her.
Clearly taken aback by the gesture, the 100-year-old woman was speechless as she put her head in her hands while balancing on her walking stick.
They cheered and clapped and presented the cake for her to blow out, asking her if she was ‘alright’ over the sudden shock.
The heartwarming moment was too much for some users on the Reddit thread ‘HumansBeingBros’ as they confessed it had made them tear up.
They sang happy birthday as they waited for the stunned pensioner to answer the door in the heartwarming moment
‘I’m not crying you’re crying,’ said one.
‘I am crying,’ added another, as another said, ‘I’m at work and this almost made me shed a tear. Good lord this so precious.’
Others praised the selfless act of the bin collectors: ‘Awesome bros! Wish more people would be like this. So many elderly people alone wanting nothing more than a little company and attention. ‘
‘This is honestly one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen.
I used to work in a retirement home and there’s nothing more special than seeing the residents be surprised and happy by nice gestures. We don’t tend to think about it a lot, but old age can be very hard for a lot of people and I’d imagine this really helped brighten up her day.’