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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.

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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Bit of a late post this morning - MD got a lie in while Head of Poo took over morning feed duties. We have a busy, busy time coming up between now and January! We are fully booked for visits until November and we are getting so many enquiries from people that we just can’t deliver unless we clone the team! So, next week we are off to one of our most regular care home visits in Norwich, Lisa is doing a bit of well-being work with our volunteers and giving Pippin a chance to go for a relaxing walk in beautiful surroundings, and get back into the swing of travelling again. We are off on a private visit, back with our friends at Cup-O-T: Wellness and Therapy Services, visiting a school and then delivering our Pop Up Farm at Wells Community Hospital Trust with our friends at Wellies On - Community Interest Company and the wonderful Legacy Clydesdales.
Phew….. what a week!
So today we will be relaxing 😎

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🌞🌻🌞 Happy Sunday x sending lots of love and hugs to you all xx 💕🤗💕🤗💕

Go the Donks! Three cheers for Head of Poo!! Enjoy your Sunday❣ xx

All those lucky people getting to see wonderful work you and the team do x x

And the Clydesdales can’t wait to meet everyone.

Have a great Sunday relaxing

Have a wonderful Sunday 😊 ❤️

Beautiful pictures thank you have a great Sunday love to you all xxx xxx 💝💝💝💝💝

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I think these pictures say it all….. return visit to The Willows in Ipswich. The last time we were there, pre-covid, Millie made such an impression on one lady that her daughter sponsored Millie for her Christmas present. Imagine the delight when we walked into this lady’s bedroom, with Millie, for cuddles and strokes and laughter and stories. It was just magical. Millie and Bo Peep really worked their magic. Yesterday we were back to Ipswich again to see old friends and make new ones at Orwell Housing Association Emily Bray House. We took Jack and Millie and they were both superstars. We are so pleased with how Jack is shaping up as a top class therapy donkey. He is naturally inquisitive, bold and friendly. He loved the gentleman who sang songs to him,and the lady who was reminiscing with us about growing up in Ireland with donkeys all around her. “But I’ve never seen two as lovely as these two.” We’ll take that!!

And remember, there are still places on our pop up farm event next Sunday, 29th May. All details on the post at the top of this Facebook page.

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Comment on Facebook

The mini donks are so special 🥰

Beautiful pictures they are all adorable bless you all xxx xxx 💝💝💝💝💝

Such beautiful photos of two special minidonks xx 💝💝💝

So adorable

Gorgeous donkeys doing what they do best💕

You bring such joy to folks. I love seeing these photos and hearing how these sweet donks make people so happy. You are all such a blessing.

Aww what a sweet face

Beautiful pictures ❤️ 💕❤️❣️

Beautiful mini-donks as always!

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Good morning everyone... for the last week Maude has been on work experience down at Merchandise HQ. Reports so far suggests she is keen to help out, follows instructions well but can get easily sidetracked! Easily led astray by her bestie Hughie Alan no doubt! She's been unpacking new merchandise and organising it ready to sell at our public events - so all very exciting. We've pewter necklaces, lapel pins, statues, post it notes and even ethically sourced donkey milk soap... yes you heard it, donkey milk soap... it's fantastic it moisturises and has anti aging properties too! If you spot something you like and are too far away to come see us email sponsor@minidonks.org.uk and we'll sort an order out for you - otherwise hopefully we'll see you at a public event soon. Guess what there's even going to be a supporters clothing line too - coming soon. Have a great day! Lots of love Maude xxx
P.S. winning 100 Club numbers this week are1st no 78 David and Jan 2nd number 61 Maggie and 3rd number 21 Ruth. Congratulations.
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Beautiful pictures ❤️ 💓

Good morning everyone Maude is adorable bless you all xxx xxx 💝💝💝💝

Good morning all x love your necklace Maude x modelled perfectly x 💖 Happy Weekend everyone xx 🌞😎🌞😎🌞

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Absolutely amazing what you do you lovely minidonks and hoomans x love you all xx ❤️❤️

Such a great enterprise, and a lovely group of young people!

Wonderful❤️

Cute

Well, what a week we are having! Clean and shiny donks (for about 30 seconds). Visits to care homes, residential settings, Forest School and two more care homes to go.
Here are a few photos from this week so far......
And for those of you who have not yet booked, here is the link for our Pop Up Farm event on 29th May
www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom--norfolk/minidonks/
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Looks great 👍👍bless you all xxx xxx 💝💝💝💝

They don’t stay clean for long, mischievous little donks. ❤️

Lovely pictures, have a another great day ❤️🥰

And you visited us at Cup-O-T: Wellness and Therapy Services occupational therapy group! Sounds like you've had a busy week. A few extra carrots and ginger biscuits are in order!

It was a lovely visit. Staff and residents were so welcoming and friendly. Thank you everyone.

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What do you do when you have had a lovely shower, with lavender shampoo, all body massage and towel drying? What do you do Bo Peep? What do you do Little Jack Rabbit? You find the dustiest part of the field and have a good roll 😳🧼🧽
Huge thanks to our volunteers for a two part donkey wash day. And to the team who delivered an amazing visit to The Willows - photos of that visit to follow, but everyone came back from that visit glowing at the fun and laughter and smiles and new friendships that had been made.
Our Pop Up Farm at Wells Community Hospital Trust on Sunday 29th May is booking up well. Only 2 places left on the 10.30 slot, 7 places on the 11.30 slot and a few more places on the 1pm and 2pm slots. See the pinned post at the top of this page for all details on how to book 😊 Free of charge, for anyone with special needs, living with a disability or struggling with their mental health.

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Comment on Facebook

Aww bless, have a lovely day ❤️

They obvsly loved it!! Thank you shower maids!!🙂

Love it!!!! 🤣

They are so darling❤

That was a great morning xx

Lovely clean little cuties xx 🥰🥰

I do love a chocolate coloured donkey.

Be grateful they haven't found fox poo to roll in or something equally vile 😉

Cute

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☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️
Get your singing heads on - to be sung to the tune of the smash 70’s hit, Carwash……
We’re gonna have a donk wash
Donk wash yeah
We’re gonna have a donk wash
Donk wash baaabbbyyyyy

We’re gonna have a donk wash
Donk wash yeah
We’re gonna have a donk wash 🧼 🧽 🧼
Yeaaahhhhh

Hottest day of the year so far and all the donks will benefit from a good wash. To help with spring coat sheddding, and for Pippin, to soothe her itchy skin, which is getting a lot less itchier.

Plenty of photos to follow, but here is the unsuspecting gang this morning!!

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What a joyful job! If I bring a sponge can I join in and get hosed down after?! (Only kidding, but bet you could turn a fundraiser out of this "chore" - unlike poo collection I guess), 🤣 Bravo MD!!

Aw cute!

Enjoy your day, washing the donkey's ❤️❤️

H

Kathleen Filby bring your waterproofs or shorts 🤣🧼🧽☀️ xxxx

Looking for

The ought to read "looking forward to this morning" xx

Have fun at the Mini Donk spa day!💗😊

Oh I wish I could join you and help x I have got an old swimsuit 🩱 lol x how lovely and cool will they feel x enjoy yourselves you lovely hoomans and minidonks xx 💝🛀 🛀💝

I can guarantee you wouldn't want to hear me sing!! xx

How often do you give them a Bath and do they enjoy it?

Wish I could come and help. That's my kind of wash. Long way from Florida though ❤️♥️❤️

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Well what a blast we had yesterday. We were privileged to share some birthday celebrations with the lovely Jan. It was a surprise, organised for him by his wife, and the look on his face was priceless when he came out of the house and saw Jack and Saffy. We did have to quickly point out that they were only there for 2 hours and that we would be taking them home again! Although Saffy and Jack would have been happy to stay there with their 7 news doggy friends and too many human ones to count.
We also met one of our Facebook friends, Kathryn Jones, who said that meeting Saffy and Jack was a dream come true, and we loved meeting her too.
We have another busy week ahead of us again. The team will be off to a residential home for people with learning difficulties on Tuesday, and we will also be doing some therapeutic walking with Pippin and some of our volunteers. Wednesday sees us on a surprise well-being visit, then off to Ipswich for a care home visit, and finishing the week in Woodbridge.
Wow! We hope you have a great week.

Here’s some donkey yoga for you all this morning!

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Comment on Facebook

Beautiful pictures looks like this was a fun day bless you all xxx xxx 💝💝💝💝

What a lovely birthday surprise you gave x one I’m sure will never be forgotten x I think that I could do yoga would love that x such beautiful photos thank you x Happy times for your week ahead x God Bless you all xxx ❤️❤️❤️

All lovely photos.❤

Beautiful pictures ❤️❤️

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Feedback from previous visits

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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!

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

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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