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Our Team

Our most important team members – the donkeys!

Saffron

Saffron

Saffron, mother to Pippin and our oldest donkey. Saffron is the matriarch of our donkey herd. She is very vocal, especially at feed times and loves nothing better than a good bottom scratch. She has even been known to reverse up to people and ask for a scratch!

Saffy does not always enjoy going indoors and so her favourite visits are the ones where she can stay outside eating.

Bo Peep

Bo Peep

Bo Peep is our next oldest donkey and mother to Pixie and Millie. Bo Peep is a quiet soul and will enjoy a cuddle on her own terms. She has a special feeling for people who are poorly, who need a bit of a boost, or who are real animal lovers.

She will make a bee line for certain people on visits and quite often we find that the person has worked with horses or kept donkeys. Bo Peep enjoys a quiet neck rub or chest scratch.

Pippin

Pippin

Pippin is the first donkey that we bred. She is a brilliant therapy donkey and has done visits with her mum, Saffy, since she was 8 weeks old.

She loves playing football, running around the field and stealing apples!

Pixie

Pixie

Pixie lives up to her name. She loves going on visits, giving cuddles and eating ginger biscuits! She is a real poser and loves having her photo taken.

Her favourite things are trying to bully Pippin and chasing Gordon the cat.

Millie

Second daughter to Bo Peep, she is our youngest donkey and is an absolute sweetheart. She started going out on therapy visits when she was 3 months old.

She loves zooming, carrots and has carried on the Minidonk tradition of chasing Gordon the cat.

Jack

Jack

Jack’s full name is Russet Apple Jack, but at home he is known as Little Jack Rabbit. He was born on 1st August 2020. He is Saffy’s second foal and the first ever boy we have bred ourselves!

He is a beautiful brown grey colour, with the most amazing black tipped ears you ever did see.

Gordon

Gordon is not a donkey, he is a pussycat in every sense of the word. He loves a cuddle and a face scratch. He is bullied by the donkeys but loves it when they are all tied up being groomed because then he can strut about the yard unmolested.

He has caught well over 50 rats and mice and we have no more trouble in the feed shed.

Sarah

Sarah

Sarah McPherson is our Founder and Managing Director. She started Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing Ltd after losing her mum to dementia and looking after her dad who has vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Her first donkey visit was to the nursing home where they were both living. She loves what she does and is passionate about keeping her donkeys healthy and happy, and using them to bring happiness to people who are in need of a boost.

Our volunteers
We couldn’t do anything without our dedicated band of volunteers. We have a team of 12, and growing every day, and these are a few of our volunteers.

Sandra

Sandra

Sandra joined us at the very beginning of our enterprise. She loves being with the donkeys and helping to deliver our wellbeing visits. She says this about being a volunteer for Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing Ltd , “After my husband died it left a void in my life and volunteering with Sarah has really helped with that….volunteering with the donkeys is wonderful. I really feel like I belong to something really important.

Steph

Steph

Steph joined the team in 2017 and was so inspired by Sarah’s passion for mini donks and the work they do, she now has two Donks of her own. Steph says, “‘When I first met Sarah and the Mini Donks last June, I thought what a extraordinary idea, and after losing my Grandad to mixed Alzheimer’s and Dementia, I immediately wanted to join as a volunteer. When we enter a room with the mini donks, the surprised looks and huge smiles on people’s faces makes it such a joy to do!’” Steph is now taking some time off from Minidonks to have a baby of her own.

Lisa

Lisa

Not all our volunteers can regularly take part in visits, Lisa enjoys helping out behind the scenes & her previous experience working with young stock on Thoroughbred Stud Farms comes in handy when walking the young donkeys in the middle of winter when they can be a bit flighty. Lisa says “Spending time with the Minidonks, Sarah and the other volunteers is such a positive and enjoyable experience. The donkeys have such great characters they can’t help but make you smile and it’s always wonderful to see the looks on people’s faces when they get to meet them. The donkeys really do bring joy to wherever they go.

We are always looking for new volunteers to help with the donkeys, with visits, with admin and fundraising. If you think there is something that you could do to help us please give us a call.

Mini Donks on Facebook

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What are you up to on this fabulous Friday? Maybe you’ll be able to take a walk in nature, cuddle a pup, or another pet, or a partner or a friend. Maybe you’ll be able to take some time for yourself to read a book, or binge watch a tv series. Maybe you’ll be hard at work, keeping the wheels of industry or care or the NHS turning. Whatever it is that you’ll be up to, try and take some time for you. Try to top up your happy-batteries, however that works for you.
Here are some little happy-battery topper uppers for you. Show us your happy-battery topper uppers!
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Comment on Facebook

Lovely that is great advice and very important .nice one👍 gorgeous mini donks😍😍

Oh and lets not forget gorgeous gordon👍😻

Have a lovely Friday lol jasper, bumble and jack x ❤🐾💖🐾

Battery nicely topped up 😊

My nacho enjoying the winter sun yesterday ❤️🐶

This is my Wolsey in his hat he got for Christmas. He looks so happy doesn’t he . Have a great weekend x

How beautiful , thank you for posting these gorgeous photos. 😍

Georgie provides constant top up cuddles

My beautiful Samuel is always a comfort to me 💕 Have a wonderful day.🙂

Barney, Tilly and the Duracell Bunny Hughie Alan! x

Sitting on feet is Nutmeg’s favourite place to be! Mutual battery topping up!!

Morning all x after seeing the lovely photos and post my batteries are well charged up x thank you x what a start for a fab-u-lous Friday x x sending lots of love and hugs xx 💕🤗💕🤗💕🤗💕🤗💕🤗💕🤗💕

Grace provides great entertainment at times! 😂

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We are thinking about teeth on this thoughtful Thursday. Our wonderful vet Annabel came out on Tuesday to do dental exams and treatment on all 6 of our donks. This is something that needs doing every year, and more often if there are any signs of teeth trouble.
Donkey teeth keep growing throughout their lives. In the wild they are kept worn down by the tough fibrous diet available. In domestic donkeys you need to make sure that the teeth wear evenly. If you get an overgrowth on one side of a rear molar over time it will prevent the full sideways motion of the lower jaw, leading to more overgrowth, sharp edges and a donkey in pain.
Thankfully all of ours were given a clean bill of dental health after thorough exams and a bit of rasping.
We thought we would share some photos of the process. Please don't be alarmed by the equipment being used. A metal gag is used to open the donkey's mouth and hold it open so the vet can safely put her entire hand into the mouth. If the donkey becomes distressed by the process we give them a light sedation to ensure that they are stressed as little as possible.

Thank you Stoven Hall Veterinary and Rehabilitation Centre for being fabulous vets.
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Comment on Facebook

❤❤

Are Saffy’s teeth as bad as mine?? I bet she doesn’t have dentures 🤣😘

I love watching the dentist working with our horses and ponies. They aren't bothered by it, in fact I'm sure they enjoy it id the relaxed botton lip is anything to go by 🧡

Why mask?

Testament to the care you give the lovely donks x

Our two hounds have both had dental vet attention this week, so teeth high in our consciousness. Poor chaps all!❣

Good news that all is well for most cared for minidonks and well loved x thank you for sharing the photos of the lovely girl Saffy xx Happy Thoughtful Thursday x🤔 💕💕💕

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Love is in the air 😍🌹💝💞💕💘💖

If you have a loved one, friend, or just someone who loves donkeys, order one of our handmade limited edition Valentine's Day card complete with metal lapel pin for only £6 inc p & p. Lasts way longer than flowers, healthier than chocolates and you get to support the magical minidonks... helping to provide a mood boosting visit for someone with life limiting conditions.
The envelope will be marked do not open till 14th Feb! x
Order by 10th February and it will be sent out by first class post.

Just pay £6 by direct bank transfer with payment reference “Love” and the buyer’s name:
Miniature Donkeys for Well-being Ltd
Sort code 30 99 08
Account no 22811860
(Lloyds Bank)

Or pay £6 by PayPal with the reference “Love” and the buyer’s name:
Info@minidonks.org.uk

And don’t forget to email sponsor@minidonks.org.uk with your personalised message, the name and address of the person you want to send the card to. If you want to make it an extra special gift you could always add a full year’s sponsorship of one of our special Minidonks for only £35!

Your gift will support us to make more magical Minidonk moments like those pictured here. Thank you 😊

#minidonkmagic
#wellbeing
#valentinesgift

Www.Minidonks.org.uk
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Comment on Facebook

Adorable!

William LLoraine Nniamh Abby

Lovely.

Kerry Tattersall x

Do you mail to the US???Love those flags!!!

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Welcome to a pretty terrific Tuesday from Minidonk HQ! We have got so much happening here and it's all good! Our wonderful vet Annabel is coming to do a mammoth dentistry session. It will be Jack's first time, but the other are all old hands. We may have to run to the shops for cake for the hoomans though! We have got a magazine interview this morning, all about our work, and then we are being filmed for something rather special on Friday - we'll tell you all about that when we can!
We have got a special treat coming up for those with romance in their hearts 😍🥰😘 more on that to follow.....
And while the MD has been away Hollie has been busy! What do you think?
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Comment on Facebook

Have a great day ❤🐾

Some smashing pics!! 💝 Bravo!

Good job Holls. Great photos xx

👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 exciting news! 👍🏻

Lovely photos and very exciting post x can’t wait to hear all about the surprises x Happy Dentistry Tuesday xx 💕💕💕

Fantastic photos, can’t wait to hear the news!! xx

Lovely pics x

They are all so wonderful 😍

You have come so far since we first met..... must catch up soon....ladies what lunch?

Beautiful photos lesley u3a

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The sun is shining
The sky is blue
My ears are sideways
How about you?
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The sun is shining
The sky is blue
My ears are sideways
How about you?

Comment on Facebook

Beautiful picture bless him xxx 💘💘💘

Cheered me up on this dark dreary Monday morning x thank you x hope you had a good weekend x 💘💘💘

I am looking to rescue 2 donkeys , anyone know any that need a home

Better for seeing you! Beautiful picture, thank you so much 💕

Hiya Saffy 😍

MUAH 💋 Shared ~ Ariane

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We’ve gone waaaay back into archives for you this morning. Hope you enjoy ☺️ ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Beautiful pictures x ❤🐾💖

Thank you for the lovely photos x warms your heart just love the minidonks x Happy Sunday to you all xx💕💕💕

Just a cat playing with his pet fish…… ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Bless you Gordon xx 💕🐱💕

You need chips Gordon!! Love Hugo

Just love gordon bless him really enjoying the fish👍😻

Can I ask Gordon where his Mum or Dad got it for him? My kitty might like one of her own 🐟

He is wonderful xx

Look at that fluffy belly 😻😻😻😻

Bless Gordon adorable xxxx 💘💘💘

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It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster couple of days at Minidonk HQ. MD has gone down with her first bug in 2 years. Felt quite rough and started coughing. Got a PCR test - brilliant service, huge thanks to all the staff there running such a smooth and efficient and friendly service. Thankfully negative, which means that she will be heading off up north to see her family, for the first time in 2 years! Head of Poo thinks he will be in charge for the weekend. Head of Security is a bit weird at the moment so can’t really be relied on (we think he has been getting at Gordon’s catnip Dreamies). Gordon, Head of Rodent Control, will be taking over the MD’s sleeping duties (upstairs in the warm, on the pillow next to Head of Poo). And Head of No One Knows What will be picking the rest of the MD’s duties for the weekend………. Wish them all luck with that! ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Have a fantastic break

Sarah enjoy your time away relax, you deserve it x

What a relief its only a "normal" lurgy! Enjoy your break and feel all better really soon xxx

Sarah hope you feel better and enjoy your well earned break x and I’m sure everybody will Miss you but they will step up to the mark with their duties I’m sure lol 😊😊 xxx 💕💕💕

Enjoy your time away. xx

Hope you feel better soon and enjoy your break the best you can 🤗

Hope you have lovely time Sarah, feel better soon, love Diane and Chris xx

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Feedback from previous visits

The donkeys came to visit our tenants and Pippin went into the room of a very poorly lady. The look on her face was priceless. Thank you for bringing some joy and love to our setting.

Highlights were being able to have the donkeys up close even for residents nursed in bed, to be able to tell residents’ families about the visit and have photos to show them. Sarah and volunteers went out of their way to make it a special visit. More visits, more donkeys, we love you!

My mum is one of the residents you refer to. I visited her this evening, words are a struggle but she was definitely trying to tell me about the donkeys! Thank you so much for visiting her.

You kindly took two little donkeys into my wife’s room, to say it made our day is very much an understatement, in fact my wife said ‘it is something I will never forget’.

Pixie and Bo Peep were the best behaved donkeys ever, our residents thoroughly enjoyed their visit… I cannot recommend Sarah, her donkeys and fabulous volunteers enough.

Your visit encouraged the residents outside into the sunshine. They enjoyed stroking and interacting with the donkeys as well as chatting to each other. So nice to see them enjoying themselves. Thank you.

The main highlight has to be with one resident who never leaves her bedroom. This lady suffers from dementia and the donkeys visited her in her bedroom. As soon as she saw them her face lit up. She absolutely loved them.

It was the most special visit for our residents, staff and extended families. Thank you so much.

Amazing reactions of residents, especially those with restricted communication. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Smiles all round, thank you.

You guys (most of all the donkeys) are awesome. Bringing joy and happiness to people who can’t get out easily. Keep up the good work

We were delighted with your visit, all ages and abilities loved the friendly donkeys.

Thank you, they were amazing. The patients loved them.

The residents enjoyed interacting with the donkeys and being able to touch them. They were interested to hear all about them and they loved them being in the lounge as most of the residents are not able to get outside.

You get smiles where nothing else can – thank you so much

It was all fantastic but the room visits were the best. Had me in tears the reactions we had.

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