HenPower heads to Leeds care settings
Our inspirational project linking older people with hens to combat social isolation is spreading its wings and bringing its pioneering work to Leeds.
Launching in two Orchard Care-run schemes, it is the first time the award-winning £1m project has set up in West Yorkshire following its pilot in Tyne and Wear.
Set up by creative ageing charity Equal Arts, HenPower uses hen-keeping to tackle social isolation, reduce depression and improve people’s wellbeing.
It is also seeing benefits in dementia care settings with staff reporting a reduction in the use of anti-psychotic medication.
Joining with Equal Arts, residents and staff at Bywater Hall and Nesfield Lodge are working with artists and hens as part of the creative project.
Phil Whitaker, operations director for Orchard Care Homes, said: “We were overwhelmed by the impact the HenPower project had in our pilot home in Darlington and so were keen to bring this opportunity to more of our homes. It’s such a simple idea which has such a potential for big impact on the homes taking part.”
“We’re delighted to be celebrating the first HenPower in Leeds, with hen parties at our two projects. We want the families and surrounding communities of our homes to come and meet the hens and see the positive benefits they are having. There are certainly some characters to meet – and not just the hens.”
Using hen-keeping as a catalyst those living at the venues will take part in artist-led creative activities and form partnerships with schools and their communities.
Created by Equal Arts in the North East, the charity was awarded Big Lottery funding to roll HenPower out across the UK.
Currently supporting more than 700 residents in over 20 North East care homes the project has also launched in London where it’s been backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Douglas Hunter, Equal Arts director, said: “HenPower gives people a role and responsibility and residents can be involved as much as they wish.
“HenPower moves away from passive care you so often see in care settings and harnesses people’s imagination and interests to empower themselves.”
Known as hensioners, older people taking part in HenPower can become active volunteers.
Sharing their new found knowledge and henthusiasm they take Hen Road Shows out to schools, community events and other care settings.
To find out more about bringing HenPower to your community or to find out more about working with the project as a Creative Engagement Associate contact us here.
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