Jamie Oliver has supported the charity since 2008 when he inspired a surge in interest after Jane Howorth appeared on Jamie’s Fowl Dinners, a Channel 4 programme about the chicken industry. The programme set out to educate the public about some misconceptions and realities surrounding the UK poultry industry.
He told us: “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.”
More recently in 2018, the charity’s Marketing and Communications Officer, Francesca Mapp, was involved in filming for an episode of Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast on the topic of hidden eggs.
National treasure, Pam Ayres, became a patron of the British Hen Welfare Trust in 2006.
“I love the ex-bat ladies I adopted from the British Hen Welfare Trust; they make such rewarding pets and still lay like good ‘uns. Jane and her brilliant team all do so much to help these feathered creatures, but we need to play our part by helping too: I’d ask anyone who likes hens to make sure they tell their friends and family to buy free range if they possibly can – free range is best for us, best for the hens and best for the farmer too ‘cause he gets a bit more for keeping his hens in a more natural environment.”
In 2010 Jimmy filmed The Private Life of Chickens at the British Hen Welfare Trust’s Devon headquarters 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 Marketing and Communications Manager, Francesca Mapp, was interviewed by Jimmy for an episode of Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast on the topic of hidden eggs.
Kate Humble is a fantastic ambassador for the charity and we are thrilled to have her on board as a patron.
“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. Setting up as a rehoming point is a great way for us to support their valuable work.
“When we heard about the British Hen Welfare Trust, we thought we’d try some of their ex-battery 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.”
Amanda Holden, much-loved TV personality, and highly acclaimed actress, was invited to be a patron of the charity and surprised our Founder by calling her at home one day to say she would love to support a charity that sought a better life for laying hens.
“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.”
Duchess of Richmond
The Duchess of Richmond resides at Goodwood Park in Sussex and comes from a family of devoted hen-keepers. She became one of our first patrons in 2005.
“I have taken several small groups of battery hens from the Trust and have thoroughly enjoyed watching them blossom into confident and precocious characters. For me, the BHWT does a fantastic job – they don’t confront or judge, they just encourage and promote their work through positive means. These unassuming birds burst into life once they are given the opportunity; their individual personalities are captivating and can become great time wasters! Please support this positive and well founded charity.”
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