Hen power helps old and young in Leeds

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A Leeds primary school and a local care home have developed a flourishing relationship thanks to weekly HenPower sessions.

Youngsters frm Sharp Lane Primary School have been visitng residents at Nestfield Lodge Care home and taking part in activities since 2015.

The £1m Lottery funded HenPower project uses hen-keeping to tackle social isolation, reduce depression and improve people’s wellbeing.

Hen-keeping is used as a catalyst for care home residents to take part in artist-led creative activities, form relationships with schools and their communities and develop their own hen-keeping community.

Zoe Laver, Nestfield Lodge care home manager, said: “Our four hens give a focus to the residents. They feed the hens, clean them out and collect the eggs. We get around eight each day. We also bring the hens to sit on the residents’ knees.

“They have a wonderful calming effect and we’ve seen such a positive uplift.”

Children from the school join residents to develop their photography skills, taking close-up photographs of the resident hens and details around the home, with the aim of creating intricate collages.

The finished collages will be displayed across the home.

The residents have also made visits to the school and to events such as the school’s Christmas Nativity and carol service.

Danielle Bird, activity co-ordinator, said “It is so important to welcome the community into the home, it makes the residents feel involved and means there are always exciting events going on.

“The residents adore the children and you can see them light up when they visit.”