Equal Arts director in Pride of Britain finals
Weve been celebrating with the hensioners this week after our director Douglas Hunter was announced as one of three finalists from across the country vying for title of Local Hero.
Douglas has been nominated for his integral role in creating and rolling out across the UK HenPower, our pioneering project using hens and creativity to tackle loneliness in older people.
ITV’s Good Morning Britain Local Hero award forms part of the national Pride of Britain awards, which recognises people’s outstanding achievements in benefiting their communities and the lives of others.
Douglas, who’s taken the £200 idea from one care home to a £1.5m programme to more than 25 care homes supporting over 700 older people across the UK, said: “It is really a whole team effort from the residents and their families to the artists and care staff. It is the effort of us all that makes HenPower the success it is.
"It is overwhelming to think a creative project trialled in one care setting is having such a positive impact for so many older people and those living with dementia."
Watch the hensioners taking about the project on ITV here.
In 2012 Douglas created the project bringing hens to care homes to combat loneliness after one resident spoke to staff about missing his ‘girls’.
After a successful six-month pilot at a Gateshead care home, he saw the benefits hens and creativity could bring to older people and set about his campaign to reach others who may be at risk of loneliness.
Securing Big Lottery funding of £1m he was able to take HenPower into care settings in the North East building relationships between residents, care staff and schools.
Not stopping there, Douglas is taking the project nationwide with HenPower projects in Brighton and London, where it’s backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, and pilots in Australia and Holland.
Lynne Walker, Gateshead Council’s sheltered scheme manager at Wood Green, HenPower’s flagship venue, said: “Douglas is very easy to get along with, he doesn’t give much away but we know he is quite proud of the way the project has taken off.
He has got to know residents here over the last 3 three years and respects them all in different ways. “I am hugely proud to be associated with our project especially when at conferences, meetings and other venues where Douglas always holds the audience with his knowledge and enthusiasm for HenPower.”
The overall winner of the Good Morning Britain Local Hero award will be announced at a star-studded ceremony on 28th September. The Pride of Britain Awards will air on ITV on October 1.
Share this Article
Please help us fund more projectsDonate