A DELIGHTED care home resident has found joy in caring for three Pekin Bantam hens.

Ivan Welch, a resident at Brighterkind's Woodbury House Care Home in Swallowfield, had his wish come true after chatting to gardener Nic about how much he had always wanted to keep chickens.

Nic decided to surprise him and bought the hens as well as building a coop in the home's garden.

When Magic Moments club coordinator Tammy led Ivan out into the garden to meet his new brood for the first time, he thought that they were going to be cooked for dinner, but after explaining that they were his to keep he was over the moon.

Ivan has named one of the hens Ellen after his late wife, who also lived at Woodbury House, and residents named the other chickens Pearl and Florence.

Tammy said: "Seeing the look on Ivan’s face when he realised the chickens were his to look after was priceless.

"After the passing of his wife Ellen, Ivan became understandably withdrawn, but the hens have really lifted his spirits.

"Ivan checks on them throughout the day and just beams with pride when he sees them."

Ivan said: "Having the chickens here is lovely, and collecting the eggs they lay each day is just great."

Brighterkind runs their Wishing Well programme in all of its 70 care homes.

Residents are encouraged to make a wish to experience something new or revisit an activity or place they've enjoyed in the past, and the Magic Moments Club Team arrange for it to happen.