Innovative £1m HenPower scheme cultivates creativity in Bristol care home setting


On 8th May Bristol MP Chris Skidmore (pictured) and Brunelcare’s CEO Kevin Fairman joined residents, staff and six hens at Deerhurst Care Home to launch the HenPower project.


MP Chris cut the ribbon to the hencoop declaring HenPower officially launched and then sat to chat with residents in their ‘hen-inspired’ art class. 


Creative ageing charity Equal Arts has teamed up with Brunelcare to bring its award-winning HenPower project to residents living at Deerhurst Care Home.  An inspirational project tackling loneliness among older people and those living with dementia has moved into a Bristol care setting.


First piloted in the North East, the project combines hens and creativity to improve the wellbeing of older people and those living with dementia.


Men and women in their 80s and 90s at the venue have spent the past couple of months getting to know their new feathered neighbours and taking part in weekly creative sessions. Led by Equal Arts’ HenPower Associate Tanith Blackman, the group have been exploring their creative sides with painting and feather printing.









Lesley Hobbs, Manager for Deerhurst said:

“HenPower has exceeded all expectations and the hens and creative sessions have given so much pleasure and excitement.


“The hens come into the home and you see residents light up. The sense of ownership and daily jobs such as collecting eggs has given purposeful activity and increased teamwork for everyone involved. It is simply a brilliant project.”


Speaking to resident Beryl Crocker, 75, during a session, she said:

“Being with the hens and group makes me feel happy and this, being all together, I like it.”


HenPower at Deerhurst will officially launch on May 8 between 10am and 12pm with music, a chance to meet the hens and creative activities for the community to enjoy.


Douglas Hunter, Equal Arts co-director, said:

“It is fantastic to see residents at Deerhurst joining the thousands across the UK who benefit from HenPower and the creative opportunities it brings.


“We’re delighted to be working with Brunelcare in bringing HenPower to older people living in Bristol for the first time.


“HenPower gives people a role and responsibility. It builds relationships and moves away from passive care you so often see in care settings. It harnesses people’s imagination and interests to empower themselves.”


Following a successful pilot in Tyne and Wear, Equal Arts received Big Lottery Funding of £1m to roll HenPower our across the UK.  It currently supports residents in more than 30 care settings with projects in areas including the North East, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Mansfield, Essex, Surry and North London.


For more information about the project visit



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