New hens cooping well

Northumberland County Councillor, Scott Dickinson, chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board at the Cooping Well project in Blyth which is part of the Ageing Well programme which is funded by Northumberland County'Council.'Picture by  Jane Coltman
Northumberland County Councillor, Scott Dickinson, chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board at the Cooping Well project in Blyth which is part of the Ageing Well programme which is funded by Northumberland County'Council.'Picture by Jane Coltman

A project that provides older people in Northumberland with an opportunity to look after hens is aiming to encourage social interaction.

The Northumberland Cooping Well project has seen volunteers and elderly enthusiasts involved in the care of poultry with the guidance from people who are experienced in keeping poultry.

The first coops have been set up at Briardale Community Centre in Blyth in response to requests for more activities of interest for older people.

The idea behind the project is that hens reduce stress levels, are harmless and can help people tap into early memories, especially those suffering from dementia.

Residents have been feeding and cleaning the hens and collecting their eggs.

The project is part of the Ageing Well programme which is funded by Northumberland County Council.

The aim of Ageing Well is to help ensure people stay active, connected and well as they grow older.

Coun Scott Dickinson, chair of the health and wellbeing board, said: “It’s really important for older people to keep busy and if they are able, to learn new skills and enjoy new experiences.

“Those involved in the project are not just interacting with the hens, but with each other, sharing their experiences and making new friendships.”