On the 25 November 2015, The Donkey Sanctuary will celebrate 40 years of providing donkey assisted therapy for children with additional needs. The Donkey Sanctuary Manchester celebrated at their centre in Abbey Hey during the weekend of Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November.
The main celebration was held on the 21 November when the centres regular riders, families and carers can come along for their usual donkey therapy. Each child having donkey assisted therapy received a small gift to commemorate the occasion.
They cut a celebratory cake which was shared amongst the children and their families, along with visitors who come along on the day to see the donkeys. The centre had asked some of their visiting schools and children to make up posters to display around the centre to illustrate what donkey assisted therapy means to them, in particular their favourite donkey.
On Sunday 22 the centre was open as usual for general visits to see the donkeys. All attending were able to see the display of posters and have a slice of cake and a hot drink with the staff and volunteers to continue the celebrations.
Over the last 40 years, The Donkey Sanctuary’s donkey assisted therapy programme has grown and now gives over 50,000 donkey assisted therapy sessions a year. Through these projects in the UK and overseas the lives of children and adults with additional needs are immeasurably improved by the emotional, mental and physical therapy that close contact with these rescued donkeys provides and the donkeys also benefit from the stimulation and contact.