Around 1,200 children from schools across East Devon have been visiting The Donkey Sanctuary in July 2010 learn essential life skills.
Children from 53 schools have been visiting in groups since 28th June to take part in the annual Life Skills workshops run by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, EDDC and Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue in association with The Donkey Sanctuary. The sessions demonstrate to children the importance of keeping themselves safe and avoiding potential domestic and social dangers.
Jan Aherne who runs the Education and Activities unit at The Donkey Sanctuary says: “We are delighted to once again be able to host the Life Skills training days for over 1,200 local children and allowing them to meet some of our special donkeys. It’s a great opportunity for other organisations to take advantage of the facilities that we have here and will contribute to keeping children safe.”
10-year-old Chloe Cook of St Peter’s School, Budleigh Salterton, visited earlier in the week and said: “I had a brilliant time at the Sanctuary – there were loads of interesting things to see and I learnt a lot. The staff were very friendly and answered all our tricky questions. I particularly liked the chip pan fire demonstration – it was very dramatic and shows just how dangerous fires can be and how important it is to be aware of keeping safe at home and out of the house.”
The interactive educational sessions teach children aged 10 and 11 vital skills, such as: online safety, fire safety awareness, the dangers of harmful household substances, beach safety, electrical substation dangers, first aid, road safety, the importance of recycling, food safety and social safety including the dangers of alcohol. They also had an opportunity to meet the Sanctuary’s donkeys and learn more about their welfare needs.
The workshops have been running for over 16 years and constitute a well established multi-agency partnership from the Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Devon County Council Road Safety, PCT’s School Nurses, East Devon District Council Environmental Health, Western Power Distribution and the British Red Cross.
As well as hosting events on site, The Donkey Sanctuary has an education and activities team which regularly visits schools in the South West, and also runs activities on site so that children can learn all about donkey care.