HenPower is an exciting project which encourages older people to get involved in hen keeping as a way of reducing isolation and increasing health and wellbeing.
For its work tackling loneliness HenPower was shortlisted in the health category of the 2014 National Lottery Awards.
As well as looking after hens, hatching eggs and rearing chicks, the ‘Hensioners’ involve themselves in a range of creative activities from designing their own hen houses, to recording oral histories and designing a range of cards, calendars tea towels, and other merchandise by working with sculptors, visual and new media artists.
Taking their knowledge of hens to schools and care settings the HenPower group is also seeing benefits in its work in dementia care settings with staff reporting a reduction in the use of anti-psychotic medication.
Alan Richards was ‘dead against it’ whe it first started but now he’s a great advocate supporting the other HenPower care settings across Gateshead and taking the Hen Road Show into schools, Family Centres, Saltwell Park Volunteer Day and Northumbria Science Festival.
The Hen Men (video link) and the Hensioners visit to Birmingham (video Link) tell the participants journey from personal isolation to being part of something with the aim of securing £1M Flagship Funding from Big Lottery.