On Tuesday 20th March, Robert Thomas and Janice Newman came from a company called Allianz to volunteer to help build a chicken run with Marco Bottingnole, our Community Gardening Project Officer. Allianz is a company that does fund management and St Luke’s is one of their charities. Allianz funded the chicken run project to pay for all the equipment to keep the chickens and Robert and Janice want to be involved in the whole project.

Robert has worked for Allianz for a year and it is his second time volunteering at St Luke’s where he has helped out on a community project and individuals directly. He has previously been involved in the job club where he did letter writing, improving interview skills and CV building to help people into employment. Janice has worked for Allianz for 16 years where she has been involved in different projects at St Luke’s such as the cookery school, the gardens, the Christmas dinner and the job club.

The chickens will arrive in April and a woman from a company called Hen Corner will do chicken training such as how care for them. The purpose of keeping the chickens is to transform the carpark into a food growing place. The chicken droppings will be good to fertilise soil for the plants and the eggs will be good to eat.  The chickens will also be trained not to fear humans so that the older members can interact with them which will be therapeutic for them.  Children will also benefit from the chickens as many of them don’t have gardens and pets so they can come to St Luke’s and learn how to be responsible for animals such as cleaning, feeding and protecting them and also to learn about the lifecycle of a chicken.