In early July the residents at St Agnes’ House in Lochinvar Place were excited to greet some new arrivals in the form of baby budgerigars, which set in motion a project to upgrade the on-site aviary to give the booming budgie population a more comfortable home.
The St Agnes’ House Lifestyle Coordinator, Cheryl Winbank, and Pastoral Care worker, Steve Jenkins were instrumental in involving residents in the purchase, planning and construction of the new larger aviary to house the birds.
The project involved a cement slab being laid, a pre-cut aviary being assembled and set in place, and the interior being made ready with perches and nests for its new tenants.
St Agnes’ Site Manager, Tracy Baker, who called on the skills of her husband, Matthew, and son, Dan, both tradesman in the construction industry, to help with the project said it was wonderful to see the enthusiastic involvement of the residents.
“This project proves, yet again, the profoundly positive effect pet therapy has on resident wellbeing,” said Tracy.
Cheryl Winbank, Lifestyle Coordinator at St Agnes’ House, said everyone was enjoying the birds having more room to fly.
“To think we started with one lonely budgie; then we had three donated by a resident’s family; and another two donated by a St Agnes’ House resident; to now having nine including three hatchlings at St Agnes’ House,” she added.
“The residents are so delighted to hear the natter of the birds, to be interacting with them and to be caring for them.”
Steve Jenkins from the Pastoral Care team said it has been wonderful to be part of the project.
“It’s fantastic bringing the residents together for this common project, which is having a real impact on their lives. They love to see the birds nesting and to watch their eggs hatching,” said Steve.
“Being close to nature and the circle of life is a great way to renew the spirit. The birds, which have become quite tame, are bringing the residents a lot of joy,” he added.
When the budgies, hatchings and eggs were transferred to their new home on Friday 6 August, Deacon Prodencio Bognay was on hand to give it a special blessing.
Overjoyed with the end results, the residents extended a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in bringing the project to fruition.