Life experiences of hensioners inspire caring students to dig deep
THE inspirational words of men and women taking part in our HenPower project prompted social care students to raise an impressive £767 for our work to combat loneliness.
Jos Forester-Melville, HenPower project lead with Equal Arts, said: “It is great to know the experiences of people involved with HenPower can help educate and inform the carers of the future.
“We are incredibly grateful for their donation which will go towards supporting older people to explore their creativity.”
Highlighting the project’s benefits, the hensioners were invited to speak to health and social care students on how their lives have been changed.
More than 80 students from New College Durham heard first-hand how the project is supporting people living with dementia and helping those at risk of loneliness reconnect with their communities.
Course tutor Justine Wilson has 21 years’ experience in the NHS. She said: “People can learn from books but it is hearing people speak about their experiences that can make all the difference. They were all really enthusiastic after the session and it has enriched their learning.”
Level 3 Health and Social Care student Rebecca Chipchase, 17, was among the students who helped raise £767 for Equal Arts. She added: “Hearing from the hensioners shows how care can positively support older people and their individual needs. “It brought to life what we have been learning and made it mean so much more. After the workshop we all knew we wanted to do something to help the charity and its work.”
HenPower is now running in 25 North East care settings as well venues in London, Yorkshire, Nottingham and Leeds where it supports hundreds of older people to build relationships.
Inspired by the hensioners’ workshop the 16 and 17-year-olds turned their attentions to all things fowl devising hen-themed games and competitions with raffle prize donations from local businesses.
Hensioner Ossie Cresswell, 87, said: “It is fantastic amount and a real achievement. I am glad what we had to say has helped their studies in some way.”
Launched in 2013 HenPower helps combat loneliness and improve wellbeing for older people and those living with dementia with the help of hens and creative activities.
To find out more about the project ring 0191 477 5775 or click here.
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