Hens of Hope

A Cracking new Therapy for Older People

Hens of Hope

A Cracking new Therapy for Older People:
Henpower was set up by the charity Equal Arts in 2011 with the aim of using hen-keeping to tackle social isolation, reduce depression and improve people’s wellbeing. A 12-month study of the project by Northumbria University in 2012-13 found that Henpower is improving the health and wellbeing of older people, and reducing depression, loneliness and the need for antipsychotic medication in care homes.

Working in Partnership:

Using the format of the already established HenPower programme, “Hens of Hope” will set up a number of Hen-Keeping locations in East Sussex and Kent, providing residential care homes, individual homes as well as schools with a Hen House, Hens and basic equipment to get the residents started. We will also establish a main location at our own site The Wall in Hawkhurst.

Older Couple with Chicks

The Benefits:

  • Empower older people to build positive relationships through hen-keeping with improved wellbeing, reduced loneliness and reduced depression
  • Help care settings offer relationship centred care meeting older people’s needs and embrace ‘living with care’ as opposed to ‘caring for’
  • Create lasting change by supporting older people in care settings to get involved with schools, festivals and community events
  • Free Eggs
  • Selling the eggs to assist in maintain the cost of running of the chickens
  • Rewarding hobby
  • Caring for a “different type of pet”
Old Man with Chicken

What we have already done:

  • Identified local nursing homes and private homes that will benefit from the programme
  • Engaged with the Local community and have received a number of free hen houses
  • In communication with suppliers of hen coops and feeds as donations

We need to recruit a core of enthusiastic people or “hensioners”, to feed, clean and interact with the chickens and be our ambassadors in promoting the benefits of hen-keeping. They will all be volunteers, trained in our health and safety rules and first aid.

Woman holding Chicken

What we still need to do:

  • Find and recruit volunteers within the community
  • Visit the Nursing homes/ private homes and set up training
  • Set up a large area in Hawkhurst for our hens to roam freely (2018)

Getting in Touch

If you are interested in finding out more or participating in this scheme please get in touch with us via our Contacts page quoting “Hens of Hope”.