A couple of months ago Jacko went on a visit to Priestley Smith school who have been using our donkey assisted therapy service since our centre opened in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield in 1994. Jacko had been invited to their Harvest Festival Week and the children had chosen our Centre as their charity to support during a week of fundraising.
The children were very excited to see us, especially some of the secondary school children who no longer ride with us. They all remembered us and were very interested to look around our special horsebox which transports the donkeys to our fundraising events and outreach locations.
Even children who had not visited us for a long time reminisced about their time with the donkeys and remembered the staff back at the Centre. The school also kindly adopts Cisco too to support us throughout the year and there are references and pictures of him in their foyer.
Jacko was awarded a special star certificate by the school for visiting and being such a good boy.
Juanita, Priestley Smith Deputy Head said: "Every year, in the week before half term, the Primary department in this school holds a fundraising event. We choose a charity which is local to us and organise a week’s activities for the pupils which raise money. Not only is this fun but it raises awareness in the children that they can be givers as well as receivers; that we should put back what we take out (in the case of The Donkey Sanctuary, all pupils attending this school have benefited over the years).
This year we have chosen The Donkey Sanctuary in Birmingham as our charity. We have organised a week in which all children are encouraged to take part, during the school day in break times. Here is a list of activities we have planned (they are mainly around BROWN as a theme because donkeys are brown!):
- Making and selling chocolate crispy cakes>.
- Making and selling smoothies.
- Pin the tail on the donkey.
- A visit from a real donkey in school.
- Making Warwickshire chocolate biscuits.
- Having a go at the donkey chocolate tombola.
The chocolate tombola uses all the names of donkeys owned nationally by the trust and attaches them to various chocolate bars etc. (To extend this, names have been printed in different colours so more chocolate can be offered.) Children choose 3 tickets for 50p and see if they have names which match the chocolate bars. Easy isn’t it! It’s very popular and we ensure that everyone is a winner, or maybe 3 times a winner!
We hold an awards assembly on Friday and we talk about the week then and give the children some idea of monies raised.”
Priestley Smith school raised £126 for our Birmingham centre for which we would like to say a huge big thank you from all of us.
Priestley Smith school use our donkey therapy service three times a week and it is always a popular outing for staff and children. They are looking forward to Christmas with us.