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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.

Rubik

Rubik is a very clever donkey, or shall we say mischievous problem solver! He officially joined the Minidonk team in April 2018. He started young as a therapy donkey, so has shown Alfie the ropes, and has naturally become the leader.

Rubik enjoys eating (all the time!), playing with Alfie and agility training.

Alfie

Alfie is like a big fluffy teddy bear, he is very cuddly and enjoys being stroked. He also officially joined the Minidonk team in April 2018, and has taken to doing visits very well.

Alfie’s favourite things to do are rolling in the dirt, knocking over water buckets and throwing around his orange ball.

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!’”

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.

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Something a bit different this morning. Did you know that as well as miniature donkeys, there are giant donkeys? American Mammoth Jackstock donkeys are huge and beautiful. If we were able to make Minidonk Farm a reality we might have to call it Mini-maxi Farm because we would have to bring a couple of these babies home!
HAPPY FRIDAY!!
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Comment on Facebook

They are all adorable bless them love xxx 💖💖

Beautiful.

STEP AWAY FROM THE MAMMOTH DONKEYS!

Are these even bigger than Poitou?

We need to get this donkey farm up and running so you can get these beautiful big donks as well.😁

I have had the pleasure of meeting two Mammoths. Believe me, they are every bit as curious, fun and sweet as the minis but in a larger package. I know one that loves to photo bomb and enjoys all the laughs and hugs she can get! They are not popular here on the East Coast (USA) but are used for pack animals and riding in the Western mountains and Grand Canyon.

Let me add, both Mammoths were rescued out of kill pens, owned by kill buyers bound for slaughter. Even these magnificent creatures are in danger of meeting such a fate in American auction barns.

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Beautiful sky at Minidonk HQ this morning. Today we are sending love to all the staff and Residents at Hethersett Hall. We love visiting you all and can’t wait to see you all again. We hope you enjoy a little video of the donks......... ... See MoreSee Less

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Was that Bo Peep who told him off? That's my girl ! I swear he's got bigger in a week.

They are all adorable bless them 💕💕

Jack is so naughty now!! The sweet baby stage flew by quickly. 😂😂

Good morning MInidonkers. We've got a lot to tell you today, so please bear with us - all exciting stuff!

We now have Christmas Cards & Calendars available in the Minidonk Shop! Both feature our beautiful Minidonks and are great value at only £7.50 for 10 Christmas cards and £10.00 for our calendar (p&P included so no nasty surprises at checkout).

www.minidonks.org.uk/minidonks-merchandise/

Our lovely mascot, Maude is back in stock to order from sponsor@minidonks.org.uk If you have pre-ordered a Maude, please contact us as emails have been sent out re payment but some are still outstanding?

Our Games Compendium is also in stock to order from sponsor@minidonks.org.uk.. This is a great gift and contains lots of games for Christmas fun.

(Both Maude and our Games Compendium are available in very limited numbers, which is why we do not put them in the online shop as we do not want people to be disappointed if they go out of stock.)

We are offering special Sponsorship Christmas Packs ... order early and they can be dated for 25th Dec and sent out just before the big day! Your pack will include a sponsorship certificate, profile of your sponsored donkey, Christmas card and 4 activity reports sent out throughout the year of sponsorship.

A reminder for our 100 Club. If you are already a member and would like to retain your numbers for next year we need to hear from by 1st December. If you are looking for a little stocking filler for someone, we have a very few numbers left, at only £12 for the year. You will have a chance of winning, whilst supporting our very worthy cause.

And finally, our next big project - a recipe book 'Maude's Makes and Bakes'

Full of sweet and savoury makes and bakes inspired by lots of the ‘happy trolleys’ we see in a range of different settings and the MD’s love of a good tearoom! It will be presented in the form of an A5 spiral bound book.

We NEED YOU to send us one of your family favourite recipes... complete with a selfie of it and you! You may wish to add a personal story as to how the minidonks have made their impact on you or a family member where appropriate. This includes chefs in care homes etc., please help us spread the word.

In order to do this we are trying to get some local sponsorship so that there will be a ‘this has all been made possible with thanks to’ page inside or on the back cover featuring company logos to advertise their involvement and wares… with the option that they may wish to have a recipe included also - all for a donation of £25.

If you would like to be a part of this exciting new project or know someone who would, or a business that would be interested we would love to hear from you… for further details please contact sponsor@minidonks.org.uk for further details. We are aiming to launch this around Valentine’s Day 2021.
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This is fabulous work, well done Sarah and team x

I think you mean NO nasty surprises at checkout 😁

Just brilliant all round! 💖

Hi! 😊 I sent you guys mine and my sister's forms for carrying on the 100 club, if possible could you confirm you received them? 😁 Will be sending over the payment in a couple days 😊😊 x

I will send the flapjack recipe if you like? I can do the doggy compatible recipe alongside as your dogs liked that too?

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We had a wonderful surprise in the post last week - it was a present for the donks and we will be taking some photos today to share with you and do a proper thank you to the senders! So today, let’s share the love 💓. We loved your reaction to International Donkey Nose day and would like to nominate today as “cuddle who you can day”. If you have someone to cuddle, do it often and long, cuddle your pets, cuddle your teddies, cuddle whoever you are allowed to......... and don’t forget to cuddle yourself with good things to do, feel, eat, say, touch and smell. Make yourself a luscious cuddle-in-a-mug drink. Wrap yourself in a luxurious cuddly throw. Happy Cuddles to you all! ... See MoreSee Less

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Christmas come early, we could do with some of that!!

These are beautiful pictures bless you all xxx 💕💕

Thank you so needed this today hugs and love back to you all and special ones for all your love 🥰

Big hugs to you all thanks for sharing x

Treating myself to lunch with hubby at our favourite local cafe. Sending love and hugs to you and Team Mini Donk ❤️❤️❤️

Thank you and cuddles to all of you too. 😊

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Happy Monday!!! I would like to thank everyone who helped make yesterday’s trip to Old Hall Farm such a success. We raised £500 in donations and shop sales. We made new friends. Jack and Saffy had a great day out, meeting new people, goats, peacocks and Guinean fowl. It felt very strange to be out again, but good. We will be looking at how we can get the donks out in a safe, socially distanced, way. We will be very weather dependant but will always try and give you as much notice as possible.

We have exciting times coming. We will be running 🏃‍♀️ “50k February for Minidonks” and many of you have said you will join us - amazing! More details on this to follow. We have managed to stretch our Coronavirus Community Funding to produce a little Christmas pack for 300 care homes. We have our online shop and sponsor offers ongoing, so your Christmas shopping can all be done in one place!

So on this ☀️ Monday morning, we are feeling optimistic and we hope you Monday is full of good things, like a small donkey playing with his dinosaur 🦕.

Www.minidonks.org.uk
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It was lovely to meet u, glad it was a success for u all x

So pleased you all had a successful day. It was great to see the donks out and about, particularly Little Jack (and you guys of ourse☺) xx

So glad all went well well done love xxx 💖💖

Happy Monday to you all x have a good week xx 💕💕

I love watching them play with toys

Glad it was a good day xx

Lauren - mini donkey with a dinosaur 😊 xx

Ben Gulliver

Every donkey needs a dinosaur! 💗

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We are feeling the love today. We received a wonderful surprise in the post yesterday. A note, and a photo and a £50 donation from our friends at Oakes Court, a NorseCare housing with care scheme in Downham Market. We have visited Oakes Court several times and we love going there. They were willing Guinea pigs when we were developing our Activity Packs and they held a raffle to raise money for us. Diane Blackmur, thank you all so much - you are superstars and we can’t wait to see you all again

And don’t forget, We will be at Old Hall Farm, Bungay Road, Woodton, NR35 2LP today, Sunday 25th October, from 10-4. We will have the Minidonk Shop, loaded up with goodies including Christmas Cards, Calendars, Games Compendiums and so much more. Weather depending, we will also have a couple of the donks with us. We will be socially distanced, with contactless payment and the donkeys will be there to be seen, but not touched. (Could this be Jack’s first public outing????)

Old Hall Farm have a fantastic farm shop, cafe and pumpkin trail, but they do get busy. If you want to eat at the cafe it would be best to book. Call them on 01508 333110. Fingers crossed for good weather and many thanks to Old Hall Farm for the invitation.

Come and do your Christmas shopping early!!!
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Comment on Facebook

Sally Roe , if you want to go out today?

Glad you received it, we are all looking forward to the day that you can visit again.💖

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We will be at Old Hall Farm, Bungay Road, Woodton, NR35 2LP tomorrow, Sunday 25th October, from 10-4. We will have the Minidonk Shop, loaded up with goodies including Christmas Cards, Calendars, Games Compendiums and so much more. Weather depending, we will also have a couple of the donks with us. We will be socially distanced, with contactless payment and the donkeys will be there to be seen, but not touched. (Could this be Jack’s first public outing????)

Old Hall Farm have a fantastic farm shop, cafe and pumpkin trail, but they do get busy. If you want to eat at the cafe it would be best to book. Call them on 01508 333110. Fingers crossed for good weather and many thanks to Old Hall Farm for the invitation.

Come and do your Christmas shopping early!!!
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Comment on Facebook

Jenny Wasiak any chance C can take you? Xx

There's even a limited number of spooktacular minidonk treat bags especially for Hallooween and lots of lovely pre loved items too!!

How lovely a little bit of normality well almost hope Jack enjoys seeing people even though social distancing xx

It's amazing who you bump into in the wilds of Suffolk. Our hay is very kindly being stored with this lovely pumpkin chap and his carers!!! ... See MoreSee Less

Its amazing who you bump into in the wilds of Suffolk. Our hay is very kindly being stored with this lovely pumpkin chap and his carers!!!

Comment on Facebook

Great picture xxxx 💘💘

And a lovely golden matching doggy

My Pumpkin brother!! I can imagine probably created after a couple of Baileys one chilly afternoon... least they keep themselves busy. x

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Feedback from previous visits

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

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.

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!

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’.

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

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

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 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

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.

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

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

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

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 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.

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.

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