This month we spoke to Martine, who is a holistic animal therapist, to get a look into how she became involved with the British Hen Welfare Trust. Martine works closely with animals to maintain the physical and emotional well-being of that animal, using complementary therapies, working with an animal as a whole rather than just the symptoms. We asked her what a typical day would look like for a holistic animal therapist while also being a dog walker in her spare time. She told us:
“My day usually starts with a beautiful walk in the countryside. Following this, a horse massage for general physical maintenance, then supporting through massage an older dog for recovery and rehabilitation. Later in the day, I may carry out consultations in applied self-selection of oils and herbs for a variety of animals, along with Reiki, and LED Phototherapy”.
While also working with her client’s animals, Martine herself keeps her own hens who she first adopted in 2017. It was lovely to hear that since then she has expanded her flock. Martine tells us that “In 2017 we brought home our first three BHWT hens Henrietta, Gertrude and Ermintrude. We now have four hens, Daisy, Buttercup, Primrose, and Blossom. The sheer joy and pleasure the hens bring each day! They, like my Nan’s hens, have unique funny ways. They also keep Luna our German Shepard in order, although she likes to think she is the boss!”
Luna took to the hens like her own pups as Martine likes to tell us that “she would bark at our family and friends when they went to see them. She would also drop sticks in front of the hens and seemed confused why they didn’t throw them back! The hens are cheeky with her and are often seen pecking her tail if she is laying in the garden.”
Speaking with Martine, we wanted to know how she came to hear about the BHWT and why she felt so drawn to fundraise for us. Martine was introduced to us by some friends who also keep hens. She was so moved by the effect an adoptive family has on the hens that she decided to look deeper into our charity. She came back with some lovely words about what we do and why she wanted to get involved:
“I wanted to raise as much money as I could to make a donation to support the fantastic work you all do in your individual roles, resulting in rehoming the hens from their previous lives and giving them a life of free-range happiness. Furthermore, to help the continuing development of your ongoing and future projects.”
Martine used her services of dog walking her client’s dogs as well as offering canine and equine massage in return for a donation for the BWHT. She also asked everyone she knew for items to sell at her local car boot sale to help raise even more. She also uses the smile.amazon.co.uk service whenever she makes a purchase from Amazon and chooses the BWHT as her charity. By doing that a donation is made to the BWHT from Amazon.
Lastly, we had to ask her whether she had ever thought of hens as therapy. The BHWT is currently putting together a programme where hens can help humans and Martine couldn’t agree more! She told us, “I understand how the hens would be a valuable form of therapy. A friend who suffers from depression will spend time with my hens and often reports of them ‘putting a smile on her face!”
Speaking with Martine has been a wonderful experience and we love to hear the amazing stories from our fundraisers, supporters and volunteers alike. If you’d like to take part with your own fundraising, take a look at all the ways that you can get involved. We guarantee there’s something for everyone!