Benefits of hens and arts activities study

National research into the impact of arts on people’s well-being is being explored in Blyth.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 12:18 pm
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 3:18 pm
Ann Wallace pictured during a HenPower project visit to The Oaks Care Home in Blyth.
Ann Wallace pictured during a HenPower project visit to The Oaks Care Home in Blyth.

Residents living at The Oaks Care Home are among those taking part in a study into the potential benefits of creativity and hen-keeping for those living in care and with dementia.

The six-month evaluation by Northumbria University focuses on regular activities run by creative ageing charity Equal Arts, taking place at five centres across the UK.

The charity trains care, NHS and cultural staff and informs Government policy on creativity and dementia.

The research, which uses dementia-friendly evaluation measures, follows an increased understanding that creativity remains in people living with dementia while other cognitive functions decline.

As members of the first HenPower project in Northumberland, residents and staff take on the shared responsibility of looking after their new feathered friends while taking part in regular creative activities.

Angela Hedley, activities co-ordinator at The Oaks Care Home, recently received a national accolade at the Dementia Care Awards 2019.

She said: “The creative sessions have really taken off. The residents love to see Sam every week and one resident who never usually takes part in arts and crafts has given it a go and produces lovely pieces of work.

“Working alongside Sam has also increased my confidence in working with new materials.”

Sam added: “Right from the start, we’ve had brilliant support from staff at The Oaks working and creating together with residents.

“The group has a real enthusiasm for the different sessions and it’s been fantastic to see them grow in confidence with the artwork they create.”

On November 22, the dining room, lounge and reception at the Hill Care care home on Durban Street were adorned with residents’ artwork created over the past few months for the new gallery space.

To find out more about the HenPower project and how you can get involved with volunteering opportunities, email [email protected]