When Dr Elisabeth Svendsen founded The Donkey Sanctuary almost five decades ago, she started a number of Christmas traditions that we still continue today, such as giving each donkey at the sanctuary’s Slade House Farm a Christmas carrot.

Having grown up surrounded by donkeys, Dawn Vincent, former head of communications and granddaughter of Dr Svendsen, was part of those traditions for many years.

“I always cherished these moments,” says Dawn. “I’ve got a photo I took of Granny, near to or on Christmas Day. If my Granny was around she would go and give the donkeys a treat on Christmas Day and the staff, who have got a lot of donkeys to look after, do give the donkeys a little treat on Christmas Day because we absolutely love these donkeys and they deserve just as good a Christmas as we all do.

“I think that my Granny set the roots for this charity and how we are and all the traditions that we have in place are so important for the donkeys.

“Christmas is a really important time for family, and at The Donkey Sanctuary we care about donkeys like they’re our family; our staff, our supporters, our volunteers – we’re all one big family, we all make the difference to donkeys in the world because we all pull together, and Christmas is about getting together.”

Since 1969, we have been pushing for a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering, and with your support, we are able to continue the tradition of being a voice for donkeys around the world

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