Hensioners help National Lottery celebrate 20 years of giving
Our pioneering project helping combat loneliness in older age has been helped National Lottery celebrate 20 years of funding for communities.
The hensioners from our flagship HenPower project in Wood Green, Gateshead, were alongside Hebburn Paralympic swimmer Josef Craig for the unveiling of the anniversary artwork.
Being exhibited at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art the giant image depicts more than 150 people from 50 Lottery-funded projects across the country.
Ossie, Alan, Owen, Belle, Pat and Betty joined the London 2012 gold medallist and Helen Averle, from youth circus group Family La Bonche, to reveal the artwork which is due to go on a nationwide gallery tour.
Josef Craig, one of 1,300 athletes supported by Lottery funding, said: “The Celebratory Image is not only a stunning artwork, but it also highlights the incredible work the people behind the projects do on an epic scale. “Unveiling the image to these inspirational North East projects was a real honour- they were delighted to see themselves in the artwork.”
Created by older people’s charity Equal Arts, HenPower was first piloted for six-month in 2012.
Seeing its potential the charity successful applied to the National Lottery for a grant and was awarded £1m as part of its Silver Dreams Flagship fund.
HenPower brings together older people, creative activities and hen-keeping to combat loneliness and depression and improve wellbeing.
Currently in 23 North East care settings the project has also rolled to support older people living in London and Leeds.
Alan Richards, who lives in Gateshead was involved in the first HenPower pilot. He said: “When I first heard a bit HenPower I thought it was a ridiculous idea. I never imagined I would get so involved and enjoy it so much. I have been to places I’ve always wanted to visit and met so many new people.”
Find out more about the project here.
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