A MENTAL health charity that runs therapy gardens has launched an online funding effort to buy a new home for its resident chickens.

Trust Links is appealing for donations towards the new chicken hutch and run for its five birds at its Growing Together Westcliff site.

The charity needs to collect £1,000 for the new home for the five chickens.

A charity spokesman said: “The chickens are a special part of Growing Together, giving an opportunity for our members to care for animals, providing a lovely chance to care for others. The therapeutic benefits of animal care are well-proven, with chicken care helping to boost mood, combat depression and having a calming effect on many people.

“We need funding to build them a new home, so that they can have plenty of room to roam around.

“We need to raise £1,000 to buy and construct a new larger run and make sure it is fully fox proofed, so that the hens will have space to wander, peck, dust bathe, and enjoy the great outdoors whilst being safe in their new enclosure.”

The charity was formed in 2000, and aims to providing support to improve mental health and wellbeing, along with promoting, inspiring and cultivating wellness and sustainable living.

To donate see www.crowdfunder.co.uk/westcliffchickenrun