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Birmingham Assisted Therapy's blog
Members of the public got to see more than just plants and flowers at this year’s BBC Gardener’s World Show - they also got to meet some of our lovely donkeys! The show, lasting four days at the NEC Birmingham, is a haven for everything horticultural and hundreds of visitors flocked to see show gardens and meet celebrity experts such as Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh. Our donkeys went along as part of this celebration of all things in nature and the outdoors (not to mention the gardeners that may have been eyeing up the manure as fertiliser for their plots!).
I travelled to Ethiopia as part of the Dr Svendsen Scholarship in November 2015 with Heather Ross and saw first hand the amazing work that is being carried out by staff and communities in this developing country. The continued dedication of the charity in numerous areas of the country, aiming to eventually reach all of Ethiopia's 7 million donkeys, inspired me to write this poem.
A future for seven million
Although we are part of the large international organisation in which The Donkey Sanctuary has become, we are still over 170 miles away from our main offices and farms in Devon. And for us a visit to the main offices can be just as exciting as it is for a member of the public. I mean who wouldn’t want to spend the day surrounded by hundreds of donkeys!
Last year The Donkey Sanctuary celebrated 40 years of donkey assisted interactions and in our centre in Birmingham we celebrated 21 years of offering this service. This is a specialised service of The Donkey Sanctuary in line with their mission statement “To transform the quality of life for donkeys, mules and people worldwide through greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting mutely life-enhancing relationships.”
It has been a very successful journey so far and there some exciting changes ahoof. Our centre is having a make-over!
"I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me" So says Bottom, the lovable fool in A Midsummer Night's Dream, when he finds out he has been partly transformed into a donkey. In one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies, are arguing and the king sends his cheeky servant Puck to aggravate the queen. After turning Bottom into a donkey, Puck uses a love potion on the queen of the fairies to make her fall in love with the donkey-headed Bottom.