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Our Patrons

We are proud to be supported by so many well-known patrons including Kate Humble, Jimmy Doherty, Amanda Holden and Jamie Oliver, and we are so grateful to them for donating their time to help promote the very important work we do in helping hens. 

Bob Mortimer

We have had hens ourselves when our boys were younger, and it was the first time I ever tasted a ‘real’ egg. Since then, I’ve learned more about the difference between free range and organic eggs, and I think the BHWT is a really worthwhile endeavour, so to be able to help them is a very nice thing. Helping out with the Christmas cards has been great and if me being a patron leads to someone somewhere giving some hens a good home, then I’m all for it.

I was really impressed with the pragmatic approach of the British Hen Welfare Trust. They don’t just do fluffy stuff in saving lives, they genuinely want to support the British egg industry and use positive education as a means to get their message across. When we heard about the British Hen Welfare Trust, we thought we’d try some of their ex-caged hens; after a little bit of scrapping, pecking and feather-pulling early on, my little flock of 20 are now all very happy together. We just love being able to eat fresh, healthy eggs from happy free-ranging birds that we know are well cared for.

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Jamie Oliver

I think the British Hen Welfare Trust does a fantastic and important job. I first came across the charity when I was making the Fowl Dinners programme in 2008, and I was trying to encourage people to go higher welfare when it came to chicken and eggs. For me, part of being a meat-eater is all about respecting the animals that are bred for our food, so it’s important for them to be cared for and well treated. The BHWT has a vital role to play.

I have been proud to be a Patron of the BHWT for several years and am delighted to have enjoyed some ex-bats with all their endearing antics. I think the BHWT does a grand job in not only helping thousands of birds destined for slaughter and raising awareness of how consumers can make a difference in improving their lives but also in their non-judgemental stance with the industry. If you’re able, please give them a little help to keep progressing their work.

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Jimmy Doherty

In 2010 Jimmy Doherty filmed The Private Life of Chickens at the British Hen Welfare Trust’s Devon hen central to find out what goes on behind the hen-house door through a series of experiments and observations to understand the behaviour and psychology of chickens.

The British Hen Welfare Trust’s Founder, Jane Howorth, featured in the programme and more recently, the charity’s former Marketing and Communications Manager was interviewed by Jimmy for an episode of Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast on the topic of hidden eggs.

I used to have some ex-battery hens when I was a child and remember well the sorry condition they arrived in and the pleasure it was to see them transform from sad little creatures into beautiful birds. I agreed to be Patron of the BHWT not only because I remember the hens from my childhood, but also because I, too, want to see a better life for the millions of laying hens still in cages.

Amanda Holden
Duchess of Richmond

Sadly the Dowager Duchess of Richmond passed away on 13th June 2023 having lived to the glorious age of 90; below we outline just a little of what a wonderfully compassionate and kind lady she was.

The Duchess agreed to become a Patron of the BHWT in July 2005 after adopting her first flock of feather-bare hens to lavish them with the care and love they deserved. She went on to adopt several more flocks and was always willing to help promote the BHWT, agreeing to give an interview for a double page spread in the Mail on Sunday in 2005. She also became a regular donor to the charity, helping us to build for our future.

The Duchess was also a trailblazer of the organic farming movement and, with her husband, made headline news when they adopted two mixed race children in the 1960’s. And furthermore she was responsible for creating the concept of dressage to music, something that eventually came to form part of the Olympic Games.

The charity is deeply grateful to the Duchess for her kind words and support through all her years as Patron, and for giving several flocks of hens a very lucky life.