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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.

Clair

Clair

Clair is a recent volunteer with us, but has soon got into the swing of things and is now a much valued member of the team. Clair says, “I’ve loved animals from a young age and always wanted to work with them, so when I saw that Minidonks needed volunteers I jumped at the chance. Working with the Minidonks team has helped me find a new focus in my life and makes me smile everyday. Seeing the residents relax with our miniature donkeys on visits is so rewarding and it makes me feel good knowing I am doing something positive to help others and that I’ve helped make their day brighter.

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

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Lovely visit to Saxlingham Hall this morning. No pictures to share, but lots of memories. Two ladies had owned donkeys before, one lady had horses. Beautiful sunny morning and most residents came out and enjoyed ice lollies and watching the donks. Millie was a particular star and went up in the lift to visit people in their rooms.
If you would like to see the Minidonks, they will be at The Aylsham Show on Monday!
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We need your help! Every now and then, the Minidonk MD gets it wrong. We have a note in our diary, "Steph's Donks Felixstowe tbc" for Monday 9th September. We cannot find a booking form (a requirement for every visit to be confirmed) any emails, nothing. So, if you know any care homes in Felixstowe, please share this post, and hopefully we will find whoever might be expecting us, or we will find that someone made an enquiry and no longer wants a visit. All help gratefully accepted! ... See MoreSee Less

We need your help! Every now and then, the Minidonk MD gets it wrong. We have a note in our diary, Stephs Donks Felixstowe tbc for Monday 9th September. We cannot find a booking form (a requirement for every visit to be confirmed) any emails, nothing. So, if you know any care homes in Felixstowe, please share this post, and hopefully we will find whoever might be expecting us, or we will find that someone made an enquiry and no longer wants a visit. All help gratefully accepted!

Happy Minidonk Morning to you all........ ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Happy Friday to the Minidonks. 🥰

What a fab Happy pic love to you too 💕

We had such fun grooming.. great stress therapy! Xx

Unbelievably cute & the donkeys! 😉 xxx

Morning Minidonks! Are they out and about anywhere over the bank holiday weekend? Xx

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I am struggling to find the words to describe our visit today. We took Bo Peep and Millie to The Hamlet Centre (day services for young adults with complex needs). The donkeys were just amazing. They coped brilliantly with noise, wheelchairs, different levels of interaction, being brushed and led by the young people. Our volunteers were amazing, chatting, communicating, encouraging the young people to get the most out of our visit. The staff at The Hamlet that were so supportive and ensured that everyone was safe, cared for with love and welcomed the donkey team with open arms. We hope to have some photos to share soon, and I will try to share some of today’s special moments; watching the huge smile on the face of a young man as he led Millie around from his wheelchair indoors and out. The beauty of Bo Peep standing so quietly, being groomed by two young women who were clearly having the time of their lives, the staff member saying that one young man never gets up and joins in group activities and here he was, outside with everyone, stroking the donkeys and bonding with one of our volunteers. Special special visit. ... See MoreSee Less

I am struggling to find the words to describe our visit today. We took Bo Peep and Millie to The Hamlet Centre (day services for young adults with complex needs). The donkeys were just amazing. They coped brilliantly with noise, wheelchairs, different levels of interaction, being brushed and led by the young people. Our volunteers were amazing, chatting, communicating, encouraging the young people to get the most out of our visit. The staff at The Hamlet that were so supportive and ensured that everyone was safe, cared for with love and welcomed the donkey team with open arms. We hope to have some photos to share soon, and I will try to share some of today’s special moments; watching the huge smile on the face of a young man as he led Millie around from his wheelchair indoors and out. The beauty of Bo Peep standing so quietly, being groomed by two young women who were clearly having the time of their lives, the staff member saying that one young man never gets up and joins in group activities and here he was, outside with everyone, stroking the donkeys and bonding with one of our volunteers. Special special visit.Image attachmentImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Spreading love and joy x

My daughter was one of the young adults with special needs at the hamlet centre & she had an amazing time as did everyone else with your amazing donkeys they all loved the experience 😊 thank you 😊

Love taking our little Junebug to these facilities ❤️

I absolutely love reading your updates, what a fantastic job you all do, those little donkeys are so special and bring such happiness. X

Fantastic job beautiful gentle Team Mini Donk and your amazing volunteers - you make such a difference and spread love and joy wherever you go ❤️❤️❤️

All your visits are amazing, you spread so much joy x

HOW WONDERFUL😀😀👍💜🙏💙🐾🐾🌷🎈🎉🎊

Wonderful!

Love this. So wonderful that you can bring happiness to others.

Yes we agree. Melvin said that he loved it and enjoy it very much a big thank you to you all

How very very wonderful! ❣🙏🥰

Hooray!

Wonderful

Megan Marie

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Another day, another cracking visit. We took Pippin and Pixie to The Crown Rest Home in Dunham. We met such beautiful people, who came outside, in the sunshine, to sit and watch and stroke and listen to the donkeys. We did our usual indoor room visits, including one lovely gentleman who wanted to place a bet on Pippin as he thought she looked a likely runner! Then there were the ladies who smiled and laughed when Pippin whispered in their ears, and another gentleman who shared stories about his working life. I was really very touched when I shook hands with another gentleman as we were leaving, and he thanked me for bringing the donkeys and said, “I love it here. I live here, but I don’t come out in the garden much and has been lovely coming out to see the donkeys, thank you.” Just a few photos, but the memories of meeting all these lovely people (and the staff were very nice as well!) will stay with me for a long time. Thanks, as always, to my amazing volunteers. ... See MoreSee Less

No photos today, but a very special visit. We had plenty of volunteers, my girls have all had two weeks off, so we took all four (Saffy is still away). We took them indoors, down corridors, up and down slopes, in the lift (Millie), into bedrooms...... and then went back and did it all again. It made my day to see the reactions from some of these special people. The lady who said, “thank you so much for bringing them, that has been the best day ever”, and the lady who we visited in her bedroom three times because she just loved the donks so much. Our volunteers, some of whom were leading donks on a care home visit for the first time. I felt really touched and humbled that our little family of people and donkeys really do bring a little joy into people’s lives. ... See MoreSee Less

No photos today, but a very special visit. We had plenty of volunteers, my girls have all had two weeks off, so we took all four (Saffy is still away). We took them indoors, down corridors, up and down slopes, in the lift (Millie), into bedrooms...... and then went back and did it all again. It made my day to see the reactions from some of these special people. The lady who said, “thank you so much for bringing them, that has been the best day ever”, and the lady who we visited in her bedroom three times because she just loved the donks so much. Our volunteers, some of whom were leading donks on a care home visit for the first time. I felt really touched and humbled that our little family of people and donkeys really do bring a little joy into people’s lives.

Comment on Facebook

I'm missing you all, but at least I'm off to some sun! See you when I get back. Well done girls and a well deserved break.

I can't wait for you to visit us in September ❤️ love seeing all your pictures of visits and the smiles it puts on people's faces x

Sounds like a lovely visit ❤️

Don't sell yourselves short, you bring a great deal of joy to many, many people including myself, thousands of miles away in donkey-less Harbor Beach, Michigan USA! I love you guys!

Whoop whoop whoop...... busy week in Minidonk world. First of all, Gordon is back off to the vets this morning for a pre-dental check up (if I can find him to put him in the dreaded cat-cage). Tuesday we are off to Little Dunham for another care home visit then we are off to Norwich with the donks on Wednesday and finishing the week off with a visit to the care home where the MD’s dad lives. We will be at the Aylsham show on Bank Holiday Monday, 26th August. ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Gorgeous Gordy! 💗🤗😻 Hello mate!

I know which I would rather take to the vets, and it’s not the cat!

good luck gordon - no-one likes to visit the dentist so you are not alone <3

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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.

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!

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 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

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

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.

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

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

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

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’.

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

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