This month Members of The Mill, City Wellbeing hub, travelled to the Wheatley Birds of Prey Centre. This unique visit was organised by Max Wright, City Wellbeing Service Worker, and facilitated with Adam Clayton, City Locality Manager.
Max and Adam both saw a fantastic level of engagement from Members, who unanimously agreed they would like to return and see the feathered friends of Wheatley Birds of Prey Centre again. Members were able to learn more about a variety of birds including a Harris hawk, owls, falcons, a variety of kestrels and ravens. Members even had the opportunity to handle an Owl and even flew young European Kestrels.
Members were taught lots of interesting facts about the different Birds of Prey at the Centre, and they also had photo opportunities with Birds. This gave the service users a real insight into the art of falconry. The Members also received friendly greetings from two dogs and several ferrets, making this a therapeutic animal experience for all.
Max, said: “The engagement with Members was tremendous and I was really pleased how engaged they were; asking fabulous questions and clearly absorbing facts. To see these beautiful birds close up and to be able to take photographs of them was a wonderful experience and one that our members will never forget. There was a sense of awe at these magnificent birds and everyone thoroughly enjoyed learning about them, and handling them. The Cafe Cakes also received top approval! Engaging with things outside of their normal routines can have a therapeutic and motivational outcome for individuals with mental health conditions and we are always looking for innovative ways to do this.”
A Member said: “I have been waiting ages to come here and I’ve been wanting to hold a Bird of Prey for a long time. It was really great value and a lovely place. So much fun!”
Oxfordshire Mind would like to thank Wheatley Birds of Prey Centre for accommodating this experience and look forward to returning.