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Turning 21: Donkeys in the park

As we come up to our 21st year as a therapy centre, here in Birmingham, we look back at the various donkeys who have called the Sanctuary in Sutton Park their home.

We have seen many donkeys become residents of the Sanctuary in the middle of the forest. The donkeys have all previously been housed at one of The Donkey Sanctuary’s farms, either in Devon or around various holding bays throughout the UK. Staff at the Sanctuaries will identify donkeys who they think are suitable for donkey assisted therapy.

Donkeys at Birmingham looking over their paddock gate

Turning 21: Looking back after 21 years - how it all started

In 1989 Dr Elisabeth Svendsen registered the Elisabeth Svendsen Trust (EST), a charity that would be a sister charity to The Donkey Sanctuary. The purpose of EST was to provide riding therapy for children with additional needs. The first mobile riding unit, outside of the Slade House Farm in Devon, was started on the 6 March 1989 in Birmingham.

The lorry that transported the donkeys

Jacko’s big day out

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.

Jacko visiting Priestley Smith school in Birmingham

From horsepower to donkey power!

To set the scene, it is a beautiful summer’s day with bright sunshine, blue skies and the smell of freshly mown grass in the air. The sun is shining on three large fields, situated in the middle of Sutton Park. Upon the green grass there’s a splash of coloured bunting, the smell of freshly baked cakes and the sight of twenty handsome donkeys watching over it all. This is the 20th anniversary Summer Fair of The Donkey Sanctuary Birmingham.

Regular visitors to The Donkey Sanctuary Birmingham Hope and Amber

Bob and Lob... two very endearing donkeys

Bob and Lob were both born in 2000 and were rescued together after being found abandoned in 2007. To begin with, they didn’t know humans at all and were very scared but over time and with patience, they have have learnt to trust.

In 2008, Bob and Lob came to live at our Birmingham centre and they have such a strong bond. Collectively Bob and Lob are known as Blobby!

Bob and Lob


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