PENNY the hen has been bridging the generation gap in Stockton-on-Tees – bringing elderly care home residents and nursery children together.
The feathered resident from Mandale House Care Home, Thornaby, took a trip to The Oval Childcare Nursery, in Newtown.
Accompanying Penny on the visit were Brenda Turner, 88, and Eunice May Small, 70, who live at the care home. They were joined by the home’s activities coordinator Sarah Robinson and Equal Arts associate Raël Rawson.
They introduced the home’s chicken to the children, all aged three and four, talked about her daily routine and explained where eggs came from.
Brenda also taught the children Penny’s favourite song: “Chick chick chick chicken, lay a little egg for me”.
A bundle of feathers from the coop in the care home’s garden, which includes Penny and two other hens, was given to the children for their afternoon crafts session.
The elderly residents also took part in ball games and dressing up with the youngsters during their visit.
Brenda said: “It has been such an enjoyable morning. I asked the children if we can come back again as Penny has been so well behaved.”
Eunice added: “I had a wonderful morning.”
Activities coordinator Sarah said: “It has been so exciting to be able to take Penny to meet the children at Oval Nursery. Our residents are so proud of her and loved showing her off.
“The children said they are looking forward to visiting the care home next to join in with one of our Equal Arts sessions in September.”
Equal Arts is a Newcastle-based charity that operates the HenPower project, which aims to improve wellbeing and reduce loneliness among the elderly through hen keeping as well as weekly creative sessions.