Last month we were contacted by Becky Griffiths, a long-standing supporter of the BHWT. She brought news of her daughter, Lucy, who had set up a JustGiving page to fundraise for the BHWT by spending a night in the bath! We just had to get in touch and find out how she did! Looking at her page, Lucy reveals “Next Wednesday I am going to sleep in the bath for British Hen Welfare Trust because my discomfort will be nothing to a hen’s life” and boy did she do well!
When Becky’s husband took on the headship at Old Buckenham Hall school, it was a given that they would get some ex-commercial chickens that could become part of the school. The family have adopted hens from the BHWT in the past, so knew it would be a huge hit with the school children.
Becky tells us “We knew there were so many benefits to a school keeping chickens; teaching children responsibility, bringing them joy and relaxation and by specifically adopting ex-commercial hens, we were also teaching them about animal welfare.”
Before long, in addition to the girls from BHWT, they were soon acquiring hens in the area that needed rehoming, including Colin their cockerel. Like all chicken owners know, the hen bug sets in and Becky was not very good at saying no! “Not long after, we even took on a male duck named Hywel and that triggered a regeneration of an old pond that had been left overgrown in the school grounds which, during the first lockdown, we restored and now is our beautiful Dragonfly pond.”
At the school, they also run a Chicken and Duck club which is a very popular club for the Pre-prep children, who enjoy helping to feed, water and ‘poop pick’ the chicken shed. “Mostly, I am not going to pretend, they are just interested in cuddling the chickens!” Becky laughs.
It never ceases to amaze her how the children who arrive at the club in week one, insist they will never touch a chicken as they find them a little scary. Inevitably, by week three they are totally comfortable not only feeding them from their hand but picking them up for cuddles! But that is the magic of chickens, isn’t it? And particularly ex-commercial hens who despite not having the best start in life, are such fascinating and curious creatures who have a habit of making you fall in love with them and appear to crave human interaction.
Becky tells us that because of this, Lucy has grown up with chickens and has a good understanding of the need to raise awareness of the work the BHWT does. “She chose the idea of sleeping in the bath after something similar her dad did when he was younger” – a great way of finding ways to fundraise is to just see what other people are doing!
The family shared the JustGiving page with friends, as well as getting the school to also advertise the event in its online newsletter. Lucy made sure she had plenty of blankets and pillows at the ready. Becky tells us that Lucy is also a massive bookworm so bought lots of books to read. Obviously anticipating sleep might be in short supply! – good idea Lucy!
We found out that she did manage some sleep, although was rudely awoken when she accidentally nudged the shower with her knee! Poor Lucy, that must have been a real dampener on the night!
When asking about her ambitions for the night, Becky tells us that Lucy tentatively set a target of £100. Knowing now that she totally smashed this target, we can imagine she was more than a little shocked when she raised £387 plus £72.50 with gift aid. Well done Lucy! That’s more than three times what she expected to raise!
“I have no doubt that this is just her first taste of fundraising for a good cause, as she is a very loving and caring soul, particularly when it comes to animals and we are, of course, very proud of her!” What an amazing accomplishment for Lucy!