Chicken & Egg Issue 10 - Spring 2015 - page 11

I realized quickly, too, the importance of
traceability which provided credibility
when I spoke to the State Veterinary
Service (now AHVLA). Two very official
chaps visited my home wanting to see my
hens, where I disposed of dead stock
(yuck) etc. We sat at my kitchen table
and I think I overpowered’ them with my
chicken chat,
the slightly scary
officialdom was replaced by a warmth
and a willingness to understand my aims.
Both those gentlemen know who they are,
and I will always be so grateful to you,
thank you.
So now I had a semblance of official
approval, a growing team of volunteers
helping hens nationally, but my spare
bedroom really wasn’t coping well with
the admin! I moved into the North Parks
annexe and got admin help from friend,
Jo. Then Lisa turned up with her shiny new
husband and made a donation in lieu of
wedding presents. Lisa quickly became
another integral part of the charity –
interviewing new volunteers, typesetting
the newsletter and turning her hand to
anything, being a wonderful support.
Soon Jules, Wendy, and Gaynor joined.
Gaynor and Wendy take care of the
operational side of the charity whilst Jules
looks after our precious pennies.
And the teams around the country grew
and grew. Ian joined from the West
Midlands, who, along with his amazingly
dedicated team, has helped 38,466 hens;
he transports tens of thousands of hens in
our happy hen van for other teams too.
Oh and Ian named our magazine and
Hen Central which everyone loves!
There have been some sad moments: Colin
Yamomoto was mad about chickens and
cars; he got in touch and improved my first
newsletters with fancy typesetting. He
helped, too, on our big charity launch day
when we had 1,100 hens and was much
missed when he died suddenly at 34. I will
never forget Colin and am still in touch with
his parents. We know that Colin would love
the charity today.
Colin amusing colleagues with a hen
themed presentation
Ian at one of his Christmas re-homings
We now have 32 teams around the
country, nearly 400 volunteers and we’re
aiming for our half a millionth hen – Dee
(more on her later).
But this charity has never just been about
the hens we re-home, it’s much more
interested in the hens during their working
life – trying to ensure each and every hen
has a happy, high welfare life. In our next
issue we will look at other aspects of what
we have achieved and what lies ahead
for the British Hen Welfare Trust.
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