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Our Team

Our most important team members – the donkeys!

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.

Linda

Linda

Linda started volunteering with us in 2019. After briefly seeing us at a local County Show her interest was further sparked by seeing us on the regional news promoting what we do as part of ‘The National Lottery People’s Projects’. She says “Never in my wildest dreams did I think in my retirement I would be learning to drive a lorry, let alone that it would have a precious cargo of miniature donkeys inside… delivering ‘mood boosting’ visits to those with life limiting conditions has given me – a lady of a certain age a real fulfilling purpose in life. Seeing the reactions on the faces of those we visit is just something money can’t buy!

Hollie

Hollie

Hollie started volunteering with us in 2018. After volunteering for a while she quickly impressed the MD who offered her an Apprentice-ship in 2019. Her work at Minidonks’ HQ involves organising the volunteer calendar, completing invoices, delivering visits and assisting with the welfare of the donks. She says “My life has changed so much since being part of such an amazing, loving and supportive team. When I had my volunteer induction I was very shy and said about five words. Since then everyone has helped me with my anxiety and I have become much more confident – so much so sometimes now I find it hard to stop talking!

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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How do donkeys learn? In this case by observation, instinct, and mimicking. Here is your all time favourite video of a tiny baby donkey, our very own Little Jack Rabbit, at just a few days old, watching his mum have a roll. He watches what she is doing. He is very curious and impatient (look out for the tail flicks and head flicks to get his mum to move out of the way ). He just can’t wait to have a go at this strange behaviour ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

And now he rolls in Drs surgery staff rooms Lisa Whitehead 😂 x

How sweet. Dear little Jack. Xx

Absolutely beautiful bless him xxx 💘💘💘

How lovely he’s enjoying that 💕

Stunning 😍

Oh bless him. He’s adorable

One of my favourite videos x bless his heart 💕🫏💕

Love them xx

Aww bless little jack, beautiful video xx 🫏 💘 🫏 💘 🫏 💘

So adorable 🥰🥰

Bless

How adorable ❤️❤️

🥰

🥰

So cute 🥰

Absolutely gorgeous ❤️❤️

❤️

Cute pie

Oh how precious

So cute

Tanya Longmuir 😍😍

Jessica Hamilton ❤️

That’s so darn cute.

Awww hope sweet

So cute!! 😂🤣

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The MD is home! After 2 weeks quiet recuperation with good friends, she came home last night, to be greeted by two very enthusiastic dogs, and of course, our very own Head of Poo, Mr Drake! Still a long way to go. But she is up and walking on one crutch, managing stairs and walking a few kms every day. It will be a long road to full fitness but we have a plan!
The donks are going to stay at their holiday home for a couple more weeks, and visits will resume as soon as humanly possible.
In the meantime the fabulous Minidonk volunteer team have been keeping the donks ticking over, reminding them of their manners, and keeping them suitably entertained, groomed and socialised.
The MD’s grooming and socialising need more work!!!
Here we all are doing what we do best…… a real blast from the past, way back to August 2019.
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That's great news Sarah, glad thing's are going well for you, bet you are missing those mini donkey's 🫏 keep improving slowly ❤️ 🫏 💘 🫏 💕 🫏

That’s good news , pleased things are going well for you take care. 💕

So glad great news beautiful pictures love xxxx 💘💘💘💘

Great news Sarah. Just try not to run before you can walk! Carry on recouping 💕x

Great news welcome home 🏡 xx

Best wishes for a gentle recovery. No rushing things 🤗 Take great care of yourself 🤝🏻🌹

How amazing xx

Well done sounds as if your doing really well I had mine done and it takes time now going in to have right knee done in next 2weeks take care of yourself xx

Brilliant news x welcome home x so pleased you are recovering well x think they say baby steps lol x take care lovely lady x gorgeous photos as usual love them all xx 💕🫏💕🫏💕🫏💕🫏💕🫏💕

Great news. Sending best wishes

Pleased to hear that you are back home. Take care. xx

Welcome home MD!! My pal in London has just had a knee replacement and having trouble with mobility. You could swap notes if I put you two in touch to exchange Crutch Stories!! Get well soon !! ❣❣

So pleased you are recovering well. Take it easy 💕💕

That's fantastic news 😀 keep healing and getting back to normal but take it steady xx

So pleased everything going to plan. Keep up the good work.

Great news! Just take every day as it comes and recover well. Sending hugs xxxx

As others have said just take it steady, xxxx

That's great news, glad your recovery is going well. I am waiting to have my hip done. Take care of yourself xx

Great news that MD is home!! Such an amazing team - thanks for keeping everything ticking over. Xx

Don't forget to apply plenty of WD 40 °¿°

Good to read the update on your progress. Sounds as though you’ve well and truly turned the corner now. Slowly does it but glad all heading in the right direction. Hang on in there 😂 xx

Beautiful pictures

Great news 👍

Really good news. Keep up the good work. 😊

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Flashback to August 2020 and a little baby donkey….. ... See MoreSee Less

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Christine Youngman Baby Jack 😍🥰

Gorgeous little Jack ♥️

So beautiful 😍

Still my favourite ❤️

Wonderful ❤️

Awwww ......❣

Jackie Page Sal Sally x

Beautiful Jack x bless him xx 💙💙

Dear little Jack. Xx

Beautiful baby Jack 💙💙

Always lovely to see adorable baby Jack very uplifting 😍as they all are

Beautiful pictures of baby Jack 💘 🫏 💘 🫏 💘 🫏 💘 🫏 xxxxxx

Absolutely beautiful bless them xxx 💖💖💖

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A little hello from the MD this morning! I am 7 days post surgery today and it has been a bit rough. Surgery went fine (total hip replacement) but I have been reacting badly to all the strong pain meds, so have been nauseous for 7 days. I’m being looked after by a wonderful friend. The donks are being looked after by another wonderful friend, with the Minidonk team keeping them from turning into total donkeys of leisure!
Head of Poo (relieved of daily poo duties) is holding the fort at Minindonk HQ along with Julie Andrews who is keeping the admin running smoothly, and keeping Head of Security and Head of No One Knows What, under control!!
Thank you to everyone who has sent me get well cards and messages……. And to cheer us all up, whether we need it or not, here are 3 minutes of pure joy on earth. Little Jack Rabbit finding his feet!
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Get well soon and I hope you are all reunited as soon as possible. L x

So sorry to read that you have reacted badly to the strong painkillers. I'm just so grateful that following both my hip replacements i did not suffer that as well. If at all possible do try to do your physio exercises & when able, start the walking build up, they worked for me and i offer that advice (for what it is worth) to anyone i know who've had the similar op. Hope you return to better health soon. xx

Hope you're soon feeling better and past the stage of needing the stronger pain meds xx Lovely to see the little one having so much fun 😊 😍

Morning MD sorry to hear you are having problems with the pain meds. Can they give you something different? Hope you start to make better progress really soon. x Jack rabbit and mother are a pure delight and have cheered me up during about of vertigo. 😃

So sorry to hear about the nausea, that sounds rubbish, hang on in there - sounds like you have a great support team x

Could watch that all day. Glad you’re on the mend x

Thank you, that video has made mum and myself smile a lot this morning. Sorry to read you’ve still got the nauseous issue . Trust things will soon settle down for you and you’ll feel the full benefit of the op. Keep ‘hanging on ‘ Sarah!! xx

Hope you are feeling 100% soon

Where can I find two miniature donkeys near me in georgia

Always one of my favourite videos of Jack and Saffy. Hope you start to feel better soon, nausea is awful x. Sending love and hugs x

Get well soon MD. Love from your Armchair Army xxxx❣❣❣🥰🥰🥰

Hope you will feel much better soon I didn’t like the meds either take care of yourself xx

So glad your starting to get on the mend xxxx

Gorgeous video, and you have a dry field?? How have you managed that!!?

Oh my heart 😍 I could watch that all day. Rest up and feel better soon. 🖤💐

Sending hugs, love and best wishes

Oh to have that much energy!!

Aww lovely to see Jack rabbit, wishing you a speedy recovery sarah xx 💕

Hope you're soon back to your normal self without all the pain

I wish you a good recovery, and thanks for the video xxx

Hope you are feeling better soon thinking of you love this they are adorable bless them xxx 💖💖💖💖xxxx 🙏

That baby will brighten a day for anyone. 🤎 Wishes for your full recovery.

Love Jack. Xx

Get well soon! 💐

Hope you make a full and speedy recovery, friends I know who have had a hip replacement have told me it is life changing for the better 👍

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Sending you all big old donkey cuddle on Valentines Day. Just in case any of you don’t get a cuddle today, please feel free to enjoy one of ours. Remembering our special friend Gordon 🐈 as well - can’t have photos of cuddles at Minidonk HQ without him!
❤️🫏😍🐕🥰🐈💖🥕💝🫏💓🐈❤️🐕😍
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Thank you to all of you special mini donkey's ❤️ you also deserve special cuddles 💕 🫏 💘 🫏 💘 🫏 💘

Thinking of you Sarah, hope you're soon back to your old cheerful self🫏

❤😘

💕

Happy Valentines Day every one x photos so lovely as usual thank you sending lots of love ❤️ and cuddles 🤗 to you all xx and lots especially to MD thinking of you x speedy recovery ♥️🙏🏻♥️💕🫏💕🫏💕🫏💕

Valentines cuddles for all the donkeys xx ❤️❤️💙💙

Thank you for the hugs 🤗♥️

Hugs to all Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing and for the staff and MD 🤗

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Only 2 days to go before the MD goes in for her hip replacement. The team pulled out all the stops to get the donks moved into a temporary foster home this morning, to allow the MD and Head of Poo a few weeks to make sure that her recovery comes first. Shenanigans aplenty, a couple of trips in the lorry, and donks are all settled in. Huge thanks to the Minidonk team, and to a special friend for opening her farm to 6 little visitors. ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

That’s wonderful! Best of wishes to the MD for speedy recovery after the op. Xx

With best wishes and healing hugs xx ❤️

Glad those little donks are now settled x and lots of love and healing hugs to MD for a speedy recovery xx 💕🙏🏻💕🤗💕🫏💕🫏💕

Hope all goes well and wishing you a speedy recovery. Hugs to the hairy ones to xxx

That's great news that them mini donks are all settled in, so you can go and have your op with out worrying about anything, wishing you a speedy recovery 🙏 🫏 💘 🫏 💕 🫏 💞

I hope the operation goes well, and sending best wishes from the enABLE Thetford team. We hope the mini-donks enjoy their little holiday too. x

Bravo all involved! Get well in your own time MD xx❣❣ Looks as if Minidonks have found the Minidonk Hilton for their own R & R. Sending hugs all round xx❣❣

Glad there all settled in, so you can go and have your op , wishing you a speedy recovery. 💕

Well done, 👏👏👏

Great news the Donks are settled in. Well done and thank you Team Mini Donk!! Sarah - best wishes for a speedy recovery. Much love and hugs to you xxx

All the best for the op! x

Sending biggest hugs, positive wellbeing thoughts to you all. Wishing Sarah a speedy recovery xxxxx

So beautiful ♥️ Healing thoughts for the MD 🌹

Hope they enjoy their holiday and that the MD recovers quickly. L x

Hope all goes well

Sending lots of love to you all, mini donks on your holiday ,and Sarah for your much needed operation get well soon big hugs from Tadds see you soon xxxxx💜

Best wishes for your op and a speedy recovery. Donks look happy in their holiday abode.

Good luck Sarah you’ll be like the bionic woman xxx

Donks are on their hollibobs, looks lovely accommodation. Hope they give it a good review on trip advisor. Good luck for the op Sarah. Hope you are back on your feet, skipping round the yard like Jack in no time.

Hope all goes well Sarah. Take care xx

Good luck for the op, Sarah 😃 In a previous life, I used to nurse folks who had post-op joint replacements. I hope the donks enjoy their little holiday.... 💕

Well done team! 🌟

Sarah sending love and best wishes xx

Good luck with it all and super photos👍😍

Well done and hope your soon back up and fit after your opp xx

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Did you know that donkeys are natural browsers? They love a bit of variety in their diet and will happily eat bark, twigs and chew on your fences (!?*##@!)
To minimise fence chewing we give them as much browse as we can. Their favourite is fruit-wood prunings ( but not cherry or plum or any other stoned fruit) apple 🍎 and pear 🍐 are preferable.
It enriches their time on the yard, keeps their teeth healthy and they just love it. When we scatter some apple sticks across the yard they are like a little shoal of woolly piranhas 🐟 They all have their preferred style of eating. Saffy and Bo Peep prefer to nibble all the bark off. Pixie, Millie and Jack will eat the whole twig, starting at the sweetest, tastiest small end and working their way along . Pippin takes her sticks into a quiet corner and eats them with a combination of nibbling and chewing (we always put a little pile of sticks away from the other donkeys for Pippin 🫏❤️🫏)
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What a lovely site seeing the minidonks enjoying their treat x God bless them xx ♥️🫏♥️🫏♥️🫏♥️🫏♥️

Jackie Page Sal Sally x

It amazes me how they eat stuff like Holly leaves 🤣🤣

This is so sweet. How good for them to have something different to nibble.

Oh bless them 💞

That's lovely for them to have different treats 😊 it's very healthy for them 🫏 💕 🫏 💕 🫏 💕

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Some more from the archives again today…… we do enjoy ourselves when we are out and about!! ... See MoreSee Less

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These are fantastic pictures and you all do a great job bless you all xxx xxx 💘💘💘💘

Great photos 👍😎

Morning my lovelies x thank you for the brilliant photos all those smiling faces just love them x god bless you all xx 💕🫏💕🫏💕🫏💕🫏💕

Morning everyone 😊 great photo's as usual, have a great day 🫏 💜 🫏 💙 🫏 ❤️

All wonderful 👌🏻♥️😊

Counting down the days 😍

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Feedback from previous visits

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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’.

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!

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

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.

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