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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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Happy Sunday Minidonkers! We hope you are all doing whatever makes you happy this Sunday morning. We are having an easy day today before our visits next week to Cambridge (Steph will be at the Tesco Express in Histon tomorrow, Monday with a couple of the girls, from around 12-2), Halesworth and Beccles for care home visits, then at Old Hall Farm, Woodton on Saturday 26th October, 10-2, where you will be able to meet the Minidonks, pick a 🎃 and sample the delights of the farm cafe and delicatessen! Hope your week is a good one..... ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Beautiful happy faces, donkey's brings so much joy.x

Magical day today. Great team, donks on good form, met lovely people and visited people on the wards. Thank you to Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust at Northgate Hospital... ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

I loved seeming the donks today and those biscuits were amazing!

Three of the Minidonk team will not be joining us in Great Yarmouth today. Head of security, Head of Rodent Control and Head of no one knows what, are exhausted by their duties and will be doing this while we are all at Northgate Hospital, Great Yarmouth, 11-2 today..... ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Our Head of Security and Head of Kitchen Services... always awake for a snack!

Love your PJ's love you all.xxxxx

Don’t you look so cute in your cosy green PJ’s.❤️

Oh dear, you'd better reduce their working hours....😉😃

“Head of No-one Knows What”!!!! 😂😂😂😂

Head of toy development.

You must stop working them so hard

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If you would like to meet a cheeky Mindonk or two, have a go on our Spoooooky Hallowe'en Tombola or find out more about what we do, then come along to Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth (Northgate St, Great Yarmouth NR30 1BU) between 11am and 2pm tomorrow, Saturday 19th October. Yay!!! Come and meet the Minidonks!!! ... See MoreSee Less

If you would like to meet a cheeky Mindonk or two, have a go on our Spoooooky Halloween Tombola or find out more about what we do, then come along to Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth (Northgate St, Great Yarmouth NR30 1BU) between 11am and 2pm tomorrow, Saturday 19th October. Yay!!! Come and meet the Minidonks!!!

Comment on Facebook

My children both put their Tesco’s tokens in your slot at Swaffham yesterday!. I then came home and showed them who they picked- they both agreed that they picked well (my children are 13 and nearly 18 😊)

I was born at that hospital lovely cheeky photo x

😜 back gorgeous 😘

Daniel Block 😮👍😎

We have got a lot of public events coming up, so if you want to meet some of the Minidonk team come along to Northgate Hospital open day in Great Yarmouth, this Saturday 19th October 11-2 or enjoy a bit of spooky fun, picking your own pumpkin at Old Hall Farm, Woodton, the following Saturday, 26th October meeting the Minidonks and enjoying their fantastic cafe. Here is Nino, our Head of Tombola Quality Control, checking over some of our Hallowe’en items! And don’t forget, if you are shopping in Tesco, please put your blue token in the Minidonk slot! ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

What time will you be at old hall farm woodton ?

This Saturday 19th November or am i reading it wrong.

So much to tell you all, but for now, the most important thing is that Saffy is home.... got home late last night and here she is enjoying her breakfast..... ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Oh lovely girl! I think she thinks, just let me get on with my food!

Welcome home beautiful girl! 💕🥰

Lovely girl... looking forward to meeting you.

Beautiful. Xxxxxx

Yay..! Welcome home Saffy 😄

Shaggy babe. Needs a good brushing. See you tomorrow, Red.

Did she escape? We already need another coffee and catch up !

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Steph and Sarah sparkled at a top secret event in London tonight... they leaflet-bombed Hugh Bonneville, Ade Adepitan, Ore Oduba, Tameka Empson, and various National Lottery bigwigs. All will be revealed on BBC1 on 19th November. Two sparkly girls now very tired..... may have had a glass or two of wine. Xxxx ... See MoreSee Less

Steph and Sarah sparkled at a top secret event in London tonight... they leaflet-bombed Hugh Bonneville, Ade Adepitan, Ore Oduba, Tameka Empson, and various National Lottery bigwigs. All will be revealed on BBC1 on 19th November. Two sparkly girls now very tired..... may have had a glass or two of wine. XxxxImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Hope you had a fabulous time & managed to enjoy a lovely evening as a small reward for your brilliant work xxx

Ah you both look lovely! Hope you had a great night xxx

Look at you Sarah McPherson!! I hope you had an amazing time both of you. Xx

Congratulations xx

Check you 2 out in your sparkles! Well done ladies.

Amazing!!! And yes !! Love you two sparkling girls 😘❤❤🍾🍾

Fabulous stuff! 🤩

Loving the sparkle. And another reason you're so good at what you do: I'd have no idea who all those people were!

Proper posh! What have you been up to now!!!?🤗

Looking very glamorous ladies!

Well done you two. Looks like it was a blast!

Well don’t you look different in your finest. Glad you had fun.👍

Looking glam girls xx

what have you 2 donk girls been up to!!??🤩

Fingers crossed

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MD and Team Leader Steph are in London on a top secret mission. Yesterday they dropped the lorry off to have it’s new awning fitted, and dropped in to see Saffy and her huge friends...... the foal in the picture is 6 weeks old!! Saffy’s coming home!!! ... See MoreSee Less

MD and Team Leader Steph are in London on a top secret mission. Yesterday they dropped the lorry off to have it’s new awning fitted, and dropped in to see Saffy and her huge friends...... the foal in the picture is 6 weeks old!! Saffy’s coming home!!!Image attachmentImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

So love you little donkeys.x

Can't wait to meet her! Hope you're having fun ladies.

Can't wait

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Feedback from previous visits

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

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

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’.

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!

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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