Owls help the vulnerable spread their wings

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16 Feb 2018
Hack Back is a Community Interest Company (CIC) that works with a wide range of individuals facing significant barriers which prevent them from reaching their full potential in life.

Hack Back helps people build their self-esteem and confidence by combining psychological therapies with interaction with birds of prey and the natural environment.

Anita is a qualified psychologist, behavioural coach and therapist, and is a member of the British Psychological Society. After using birds of prey in leadership and management development programmes for many years, she set up Hack Back in 2012, using the birds in therapy, education and training.

The Royden Park Project is run by Wirral Evolutions and provides opportunities for disabled people to gain training in horticulture, conservation and woodwork in a supportive environment. It works in conjunction with ‘Hack Back’ to provide interactive therapy through falconry experiences and training.

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“It was wonderful to see how much everyone enjoyed meeting Murray and the other two owls at the event, Mango and Axel.

“Anita made sure that everyone who wanted to had the chance to hold one of the owls.

“Seeing these beautiful birds fly overhead at close quarters was really exhilarating and it was clear that everyone got a great deal out of spending time with them.

“Interacting with Murray, Mango and Axel was clearly a positive experience, helping people to develop self-confidence and communication skills.

“The Royden Park Project and Hack Back are making a real difference to people with learning disabilities.”

Anita said:

“I have been working with Royden Park Project for nearly four years and the whole experience has had an impact on everyone involved including me and the Royden Park staff. It was wonderful of Margaret to come along and learn about the work we do.”

Anita also recently published a book called Murray’s Wings which has been designed to be read with children to stimulate discussion about personal and private safety.

Anita added:

“We have been trialling the book in local schools with great results. An autistic boy in one school recently said to his teacher: ‘The book isn’t just about Murray, Miss, it’s also about us and learning to keep us safe’, so I think the message is being clearly understood.”

Hack Back is currently looking for corporate sponsorship to help them to deliver more sessions to local hospices such as Claire House Hospice where they are regular visitors, and to people living with life limiting illness.

You can find out more about Hack Back here: http://www.hack-back.org.uk/ and about The Royden Park Project via Wirral Evolutions here: http://www.wirralevolutions.org/

You can follow Murray the Owl – named after Tennis star Andy Murray – on Twitter (@burrowingbolt) and Instagram (@murraytheowl).