More than 50 residents gathered to hear interesting facts about the birds such as how a grouping of owls is called a parliament, that owls are misleadingly heavy and the colour of their eyes determines if they are nocturnal.

The owls, each named after a member of parliament in keeping with their collective term, were held and stroked by residents whilst some of the birds made a special visit to the rooms of others who were unable to make it to the home’s communal lounge.

Their true beauty was displayed when a Mexican striped owl named Mo Mowlam flew from one handler to the other, displaying his amazing wings in a flash of brilliance across Whitgift House’s community room.
One resident commented, “I had no idea how tame owls are, they are such beautiful creatures.”

Old Palace student Saira Khan who volunteered at the ‘Owls About Town’ event said: “It feels great helping at Whitgift House. The activities are varied and interesting; one of my favourite things to do is talk to the residents about their lives.”
Philomena Kavanagh, Head of Care at Whitgift House, said: “We always put together a fun, varied and interesting programme of activities for our residents so we were delighted to welcome the Owls About Town team in to the home. It was clear that the owls enjoyed soaking up the attention as much as our residents enjoyed having them here.”

The event was run by Owls About Town, a dedicated organisation who care for rescued owls, either rearing them from an owlet, or caring for those who have been a victim of animal cruelty because people are sadly unaware of the correct way to care for the birds and that they can live for up to 50 years.

Whitgift House is part of Whitgift Care, the Whitgift Foundation’s care homes offering a range of care provision to more than 100 older residents in Croydon.

Pictured: Mo Molem (owl) with Joan Atton


For further information, please contact:
Catherine Shirley, Marketing and Communications Manager on 020 8256 1579 or email:

Notes to editors

About The Whitgift Foundation

The Whitgift Foundation is a registered charity with the aim of providing education for the young and care for the elderly in Croydon and the surrounding areas.

Established in 1596 by the former Archbishop of Canterbury John Whitgift, The Whitgift Foundation comprises of:
•    Three schools – Old Palace of John Whitgift (girls), Trinity School (boys with a co-educational sixth form) and Whitgift School (boys).
•    Whitgift Care – three care homes, Whitgift House, Wilhelmina House and the Whitgift Almshouses offering a range of care provision including sheltered accommodation, full nursing care, residential care, respite and day care.
•    The Carers’ Information Service – provides free information, support, advice and training to an estimated 34,000 carers in Croydon and manages the Carers Support Centre, 24 George Street.

The Whitgift Foundation currently supports approximately 42% of current pupils in its schools through financial ‘means tested’ bursaries.  This equates to just over £5million a year to enable talented young people to benefit from the outstanding education provided by the schools.