It was always a dream of our Founder, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, to offer donkey-assisted therapy for children with additional needs in the London area, and this has finally become a reality.
Between April and June this year we provided a new mobile service to seven schools in London as a trial. It was run with specially trained donkeys who were temporarily stabled at a wonderful supporter’s home in Hertfordshire.
The four donkeys, named Austin, Boyo, Pharaoh and Tiny Tim, were taken by our staff to the schools, where children took part in riding or grooming, and learned about donkey care.
School staff and children were so excited by the donkey visits, which not only inspired a range of class-based projects but also prompted inventive way to support our work — including organising fundraising activities such as baking donkey-shaped biscuits to sell.
“For some city children, this was their first-ever experience of being near large animals. Seeing the children’s reactions and the joy that this unique experience brings confirms how worthwhile and valuable donkey-assisted therapy is.” Katrina Hammond, riding instructor.