Quirky hen project wins care award

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doreen-collects-eggs-webOrchard Care Homes has won Best Collaborative Arts Project (Performance), in the Patient Experience Class, in the highly coveted national Building Better Healthcare Awards.

Praised for its ‘quirky’ nature, the company’s partnership and rollout with the Equal Arts HenPower project won the category that also featured UCLH NHS Foundation Trust. The award recognises collaborative projects that have a measurable positive impact on the patient and staff experience within the healthcare environment, and the judges highlighted, “This really does seem to be engaging residents and getting people outside. It is a great example of linking meaningful activity for care home residents to the creation of art.”

The partnership with creative ageing charity Equal Arts, began as a trial in 2015 in one home in the north east, and is now implemented in the group’s homes across the country, from Darlington in the north to Greenwich in the south. HenPower is funded from a £1m National Lottery award, and uses hen-keeping as a tool to creatively tackle social isolation and to improve mental and physical wellbeing.

Tracey Tomlinson, Director of Customer Experience, said “We are delighted that the project has been recognised within such a high profile industry environment, particularly when there was such strong competition.

“We have seen the positive impact of the hens and the associated art and creative sessions on the residents and their families, but also on the carers and staff. This is a diverse and innovative project that has really brought many homes to life. We’re confident that the hens make a great addition to our homes and plan to continue to add them to new homes.”

Orchard Care Homes collected the award during an event at The Brewery in central London.

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