The Donkey Sanctuary has won a Bronze award in the prestigious South West Tourism Excellence Awards within the ‘Large Attraction of the Year’ category at a ceremony held in Bristol on 7 February 2019.

The Donkey Sanctuary celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and the South West Tourism award follows on from success in the Devon Tourism Awards back in October, where we scooped a Gold award.

John Crouch, visitor engagement manager at The Donkey Sanctuary says: “We are delighted to receive this award in our 50th anniversary year. We had a really busy 2018 with visitor numbers topping 350,000 for the first time, so to get this recognition for customer service, quality of facilities and entertainment is amazing.”

Richard Stanbrook, director of headline sponsors South West Water Business, says: “We are a long-time judge and sponsor of the South West Tourism Awards and believe that the sector is a vital part of the region’s economy. The South West’s tourism sector contains a huge amount of talented and innovative businesses who go the extra mile to make sure that visitors to this region have a special holiday and want to return year after year.”

The good news comes at a fitting time, as we celebrate not only our recent achievements but the history of the sanctuary as a whole. Five decades after our founder Dr Elisabeth Svendsen pledged to give a happy future to one little donkey called Naughty Face, we are sure she would be thrilled to see that her efforts and legacy are being recognised more than ever.

Our story has been 50 years long and full of twists and turns, and recognition like the Bronze award propels us to keep extending a helping hand to the donkeys and mules of the future.