Equal Arts has been awarded £244,000 to grow its innovative HenPower Project.
The charity has received a funding boost of £244,000 from the Government to develop volunteering within the successful HenPower Project.
Launched in 2012 with £1,000 in a Gateshead care home, our combination of creativity and hen-keeping has captured the imaginations of care providers keen to bring the benefits to residents.
Now in more than 40 care settings and schools across England, HenPower works to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing among older people.
Over the next two years the charity plans to expand the project to an additional 24 care settings and develop its volunteering opportunities.
The growth of HenPower has been made possible by the Connected Communities Innovation Fund, delivered in partnership by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and innovation foundation Nesta.
Douglas Hunter, Equal Arts co-director, said: “It’s fantastic news for all those involved in HenPower. This funding will enable us to expand the project further, benefiting even more older people and staff. Importantly, for the first time it will allow us to grow our volunteering capabilities helping to connect communities and build relationships.
“What started out as an idea with funding of £1,000 in one care home had developed into an innovative project which has generated funding of £2m over six years. This, in part, is down to the hard work of all those who work on the project, from the Equal Arts team and the hensioners to care staff and the professional artists who support residents to explore their creativity.”
Care settings signing up to HenPower are supported with hen-keeping advice and guidance to help care for their feathered friends. The hen-keeping creates shared roles and responsibilities and is a catalyst for new relationships between residents, staff, families and visiting schoolchildren.
Each week residents take part in creative sessions led by artists and inspired by the hens. Sessions can include feather printing on textiles, creating mosaic bird baths or creating a play with schoolchildren based on residents’ lives.
Talking about the Connected Communities Innovation Fund, Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “Volunteering has a hugely beneficial impact on people’s lives. It has the power to harness community spirit and strengthen local areas by improving people’s wellbeing and decreasing social isolation.
“This investment will create more opportunities for people to share their skills - it will also help provide a rewarding experience for the volunteers themselves.”
To find out how to get involved with HenPower or to volunteer email firstname.lastname@example.org
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