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Beechwood Grove’s Newest Residents Get Bespoke Accommodation In The Garden
Newest Residents Get Bespoke Accommodation
In The Garden
The newest residents of Beechwood Grove Care Home are preparing to move into their bespoke accommodation – in the garden. Four chicks and Bridget the chicken have joined their human counterparts where they’ll provide onsite animal therapy and produce eggs that will be sold for charity.
The birds are also part of the home’s many initiatives to be more sustainable as they will eat peelings and scraps, reducing the amount of waste the home produces. Their droppings will also be used to help fertilise the garden.
“Interaction with animals has so many benefits for our residents,” said Beechwood Grove’s deputy manager, Abi Smith. “Bridget the chicken was living on my smallholding and the residents loved it when I brought her in for a visit. When she lost her mate, it seemed a perfect time to make her home here permanently, so the residents can benefit from her being here all the time.
“Bridget is a unique chicken,” Abi added. She thinks she’s a dog and likes to stretch her legs with a walk down the corridors. The residents adore her.”
To keep Bridget company, team members at the home have brought in four chicks; Daisy, Doris, Sage and Onion, kindly donated by East Sussex Smallholders in Lewes. Naming rights were sold off to add to the home’s fundraising for its chosen charity, St Wilfrid’s Hospice on Broadwater Way, who will also benefit from the egg sales.
The home’s handymen, Darren Littlefield and Dave Walters, have constructed a pen in the garden and once the chicks are old enough, they’ll move from their cage in the lounge into their new home outside.
“It is fantastic that we have chickens in the home,” said resident, Mary Skofic. “I like to hear their cheeping and it’s lovely to be able to hold them and talk to them.”
Interacting with animals has been shown to have great benefits for people’s wellbeing including lowering blood pressure and promoting relaxation. It also revives memories and prompts discussion about previous experiences with animals.
“I wish I could put into words the smiles that come across our residents’ faces when we take the chicks up to our memory floor,” said client relationship assistant, Kirsty Farmer. “They beam! There is great excitement throughout the home about the chickens being here and residents are already vying for who will be on egg collecting duty!”
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