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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.

Mini Donks on Facebook

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Good Morning Minidonkers! Today we have a virtual visit, with Pixie, to everyone at NorseCare. We have visited so many amazing Norsecare settings and we will be virtually visiting some of them individually in the coming weeks. But today is for everyone who works for Norsecare and for everyone who lives at a Norsecare home or sheltered housing scheme. We have so many happy memories of our visits. Our volunteers will always request to be allocated to visits where we have had such a warm welcome. So here is our Pixie, named after my mum, in full smooching, cuddling mode for you all. Keep on doing the brilliant job you are doing.

#minidonkmagic #TNLCommunityFund #wellbeing #norsecare
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Comment on Facebook

Lovely to see Pixie in full cuddle mode... what a sweetheart. x

NorseCare - please share to as many of your settings as you can. Thank you. Xxx

What a lovely video. #MinidonkMagic

Such a gorgeous girl, give her a cuddle from me xx

Suzanne Miao 🙂

missing my pixie cuddles 🥺

Thank you Claire from everyone at Oakes Court Downham Market. Love the mini donks.🤗

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Good morning everyone!!! This post is for you all, today’s profile is on Alfie, hope you enjoy learning about his foibles 😄 ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Lol, angry donkey! Lovely to hear more about Alfie. Steph, did you get him before Rubik? Do you think that’s why he’s the boss? Special boys, hugs and kisses, miss you!

Brilliant video Steph- lovely to hear so much about the boy! Xxxx

Lovely video Steph... he's such a super boy - I love his cheeky nature. x

my favourite naughty donk

No video today. Just a message to all the people we have visited and all the people we are due to visit. We have not forgotten you. We will be in touch with you as soon as we can. And a reminder that it is the little things that will keep us going through all this. Little things like this thank you card that we received in the post yesterday. This card reduced me to tears yesterday. The kindness and thoughtfulness to send this at a time when I’m sure there are much more pressing things to do. So this if for Steph and her team and St Mary’s House in Norwich - 🙏 ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Steph Collingbourne thank you my lovely- got this beautiful card from Toni at St Mary’s, another fantastic job Team Steph! Xxxx

Wonderful xx

Hope you are all keeping safe 💕

Happy Saturday Minidonkers! We have a very special virtual visit going out all the way to the USA! Hello Morgan and Libby. We hope you have happy memories of visiting us at Christmas with our super-volunteers Linda and David. Today we are introducing our beautiful Saffy to you all. Xxxx ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Linda White and David White xxxxxx

They look they all want a brush lol

We could all do with a mini dinky cuddle right now xx

They are all adorable cheers you up just looking at them bless you all xxx 💕💕

We would love a cuddle at the moment.cheers.me up seeing them every day

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Hello out there!!! This mornings virtual visit is for The Art Box in Chediston. We visited back last March, where they all helped with our National Lottery campaign. Danni also painted us a beautiful portrait of a donkey. We really hope to get out and see you again sometime this year, until then, here’s a big hello from us! ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Ahh beautiful Steph! Love the sound of those little knashers noshing!xxxxx

A great idea. And Helen and Steve, who run The Art Box, live across the road from us.

A lovely pick me up... thanks Steph. x

Good morning gorgeous boys! Enjoy the grass and sun. Thank you Step and Pip!

Good Morning Minidonkers! This post is going out today to all of our amazing volunteers. You all do such brilliant things to make Minidonks what it is. At the moment we are all dispersed, keeping safe however we need to. The MD, Gordon, Nino, Busso and the donks are missing you all. The boys are being looked after and loved by Steph and Pip, the girls are here at Minidonk HQ, enjoying their first turn out of the year.
At the moment it is even more important to keep the girls healthy and happy. This time of year brings the spring grass, which can be rich, and after a few months of hay and straw, we have to limit the amount of grazing to avoid risk of colic or laminitis. So you can imagine the complaints from the girls who don’t understand why they can’t be out on the paddock all day. Take care, love you all, miss you all..... yee haaaa,
#minidonks #wellbeing #tnlcommunityfund #tescobagsofhelp #animaltherapy
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Comment on Facebook

A minidonk zoomie is always a pleasure to see ❤️

Yeah haaaaaaaaaaa zooooooooooooooom!💞

Lovely to see the girls out enjoying the sunshine😊

Gorgeous, perhaps for those of us who don’t know the donkeys personally could you do a daily profile for each one ie age, their favourite things to to etc 🤔

So cute x

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Good morning Alayna Orzansoy! We would all like to wish you a very Happy 15th Birthday 🍰 🎁 🎂. We decided to spare you our singing, but we did make a “cake” for you. I’m afraid the donkeys ate it all- they said it was very 👍. So we hope you enjoy this little virtual visit to Minidonk HQ, and that you have the best possible day. When this is all over you have a special invitation to come and meet the donkeys at any of our public visits. You will get a vip introduction to the donkeys and get to groom them, cuddle them and take plenty of selfies. Happy Birthday! ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Oh my goodness thank you so so much! Aleyna is still asleep but this is going to absolutely make her day. All our love to you all ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Yes a Very Happy Birthday Aleyna hope you have a great day love 💘

Such a wonderful celebration for Aleyna 🥰

Good morning everyone! Looks like it’s going to be another bright ☀️ day! Today’s virtual visit is for TADDS, we were meant to be visiting on Friday, so this is a big hello to all their volunteers and members. The boys and Minidonk team love visiting TADDS, as everyone is so welcoming, pleased to see us and we even get a cheeky 🍦. We really hope to see everyone at TADDS later in the year, until then, this is for you ❤️ ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Joanne M-Dixon

Loving the virtual visit ❤️

That's lovely,thank you and stay safe X ❤️❤️

Thank you Steph and team!!! With love to you from TADDS!!! Xxx

Beautiful 💖💖

Stay safe out there you do amazing work xxx

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Feedback from previous visits

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.

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!

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

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’.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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