We’ve spread our wings

Many of you will know that the charity was hatched in my back bedroom at North Parks, and it didn’t take long for the paperwork to spread across the spare bed and for my second-hand computer to groan under the strain of handling all the hen reservations. The first ad placed in a local free paper ensured the phone didn’t stop ringing and I soon became a bit like the proverbial headless thing, which is sometimes referred to, but never mentioned at Hen Central.

I then moved across the courtyard to a little converted barn, which has seen time as a holiday let, granny annexe and in 2005 became my office. Taking on the first employee seemed a little strange, but it soon became the norm as more joined until with nine of us, despite the fact that we all like each other, it began to get a little too cosy.

So, when a delightful little converted chapel came to my attention I decided to look into the idea of moving, and others approved the idea too. Although the decision was not taken lightly, after securing a very favourable price for the property, which was classified to commercial use only and ready to use as offices, we moved into our new home just 12 minutes away from North Parks on July 16, 2012.

We can now accommodate up to 16 staff, which comprises nine permanent staff, additional part-time workers and volunteers who help out with office-based tasks. We have ample parking and a 2-acre paddock which, once we have raised funds and gained planning permission, we hope to be able to put to good use for some of our girls.

The name of our new offices – Hope Chapel. Appropriate and charming, like the office itself.

And most importantly Hope Chapel now gives us better opportunity to expand, as well as providing sound investment for the charity and allowing all who work here to continue offering hope to hens.

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