The Donkey Sanctuary has scooped two awards in the Primary Times 2018 Reader Star Awards, winning the Favourite Family Attraction (Half Day) and Free Local Family Event categories.

Parents of children aged 4 to 11 years took part in the Primary Times survey and voted for their favourite local family friendly places and people. We were a big hit with Primary Times’ readers thanks to our wide range of events, free entry and free parking, tempting local families to return again and again. 

John Crouch, our visitor engagement manager says: “To get this recognition from the readers of Primary Times is fantastic. I know Devon is in an enviable position of having many quality family attractions so coming first is a real feat. We’re proud and immensely happy to accept this award - thank you to all who voted for us.”

The best Family Attraction for a half day out category was created to include attractions that people may visit for a few hours but on a frequent basis, or attractions that offer timed schedules. The second award, featuring a Free Local Family Event, was won by The Donkey Sanctuary for its Summer Fair, where admission for children is free.

The outcome of the survey is of special importance to many local businesses who value the nature of the award results, as the families who complete the survey are often customers or potential customers. In addition, the results provide an interesting snapshot of what is popular with families at this current time. It’s a way for local families to recommend venues and attractions that deliver good-quality service and provision to other readers.

We have a packed season of events lined up for the winter. The Christmas Fair kicks off events over the weekend of 24-25 November and is the ideal time for some Christmas shopping. Walter’s Winter Checklist runs from 24 November right through the winter giving the perfect opportunity to explore the sanctuary in Sidmouth. Carols by Candlelight is an unmissable evening as thousands of candles light up the sanctuary. The event, held on 14 December, includes a carol service held in the main barn, surrounded by many of the resident donkeys.

All proceeds go towards our work in the community and worldwide.