June 29, 2017 by Tori Flower
Connecting people with animals, nature & each other
Furry Tales is our innovative project that delivers animal-assisted activities to elders in Tower Hamlets. We are passionate about linking nature & laughter in later life.We take small, furry and feathery animals (guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens & ferrets) to meet isolated older adults facing disadvantage. These creatures offer comfort physically and emotionally, and bring about much conversation, reminiscence and above all, laughter.
Furry Tales offers a unique kind of support to hundreds of people living with dementia, varying mental and physical health conditions, hospital in-patients and those living in residential and nursing homes in East London. Our grant funding runs out at the end of August 2017, so we launched a crowfund campaign on Crowdfunder on 23rd June! Our goal is to raise £8,000 in 4 weeks!
‘There should be more services like this all over London… The members would like to see more of this service offered to people who are socially isolated and lonely.’ (Sundial Day Care Centre)
We run the only animal-assisted-activities social club for those over 65 in the borough at the Farm, which has cultivated many important new connections and friendships! Animals from Stepney City Farm have also been out visiting older people in need in our community, creating a connection with those who can no longer make it to the Farm.
With dementia costing the UK in excess of £26 billion (Alzheimer’s Society) and loneliness as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Campaign to End Loneliness), there has never before been such a drastic need for innovative ways of engaging with elders. The number of people over 80 is expected to increase by 23% over the next decade and yet health and social care budgets continue to suffer. Isolation, loneliness and depression are huge concerns for older people in Tower Hamlets – 47% of the 15,500 people aged 65+ live alone.
Furry Tales provides an imaginative solution by drawing on the community’s existing resources to connect people and services to the natural world and, therefore, each other. We have a long successful history of working closely with care homes, day care centres, GPs and other NHS services, all of whom say there is a need for this service.
With crowdfunding support we hope to:
- Run weekly animal-assisted-activities (AAA) social club at the farm for those over 65.
- Deliver 6-8 week ‘Outreach AAA Packages’ to local residential care facilities for up to 20 elders.
- Promote Stepney City Farm & Furry Tales Club to new day centre resources, sheltered housing projects and local agencies.
- Develop an engaging, research-led visual resource & activity pack on AAA, that can be marketed to healthcare providers.
- Any funds raised over and above our target will go towards helping meet the day to day core running costs of the farm
We are offering a number of pledging rewards, so please do donate: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/furry-tales
- Pledge £5: Your name the supporter’s wall at Stepney City Farm.
- Pledge £10: Personalised Furry Tales card, including Polaroid photo of one of our Furry Tales residents. Plus your name on our supporter wall.
- Pledge £35: Friends of Furry Tales membership (includes a free Furry Tales themed tour, and 2 hot drinks in our award winning café!) and your name on our supporter wall.
- Pledge £50: Furry Tales craft notebook, badge & photo of Furry Tales resident plus your name on our supporter wall.
- Pledge £100: Hot pressed watercolour of one of our small furries by award winning illustrator Merlin Strangeway. www.merlinevans.com
- Pledge £150: Animal Assisted Activity workshop for 2 adults + 2 kids: (guinea pigs, rabbits or ferrets)
- Pledge £250: Furry Tales Farmer for ½ day. Meet everyone at Furry Tales, feed our rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets
- Pledge £400: A place on a 4 week ‘Drawing Animals’ course at Stepney City Farm. Come, draw our lovely animals!
- Pledge £700: We will bring some of our rabbits, guinea pigs, or ferrets to your place of work! (Central London only)
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