Children with additional needs can benefit from therapeutic donkey rides at The Donkey Sanctuary’s Donkey Assisted Therapy centre in Eccup, Leeds through its unique Saturday Club sessions.
The club, held on the second Saturday of every month between 10am and 2pm, enables children with additional needs to ride the donkeys and when possible their brothers and sisters can enjoy this shared activity too. Riding therapy can help improve a child’s self esteem and confidence, and physically aids the development of fine motor skills, core stability and hand eye coordination. The donkeys also enjoy the affection and interaction they have with the children who visit.
Cathryn Williams, who runs the Leeds Donkey Assisted Therapy centre, says: “For families with children with additional needs it can be a challenge to find activities that all your children can enjoy together. The beauty of our Donkey Assisted Therapy sessions is that the children are all able to participate and share a fun morning with their siblings, and they can achieve so much riding a donkey. Parents and carers can relax over a cup of tea or coffee and have the opportunity to meet other parents, carers and supporters. We would also love to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer their time to help support these sessions, it’s a truly rewarding experience and a unique way to support your local community.”
For further information please contact the centre on 0113 261 9249.
The centre has been providing Donkey Assisted Therapy sessions to children in Leeds and the surrounding area since 1999. Around 190 local children with additional needs visit the centre each week. The charity also provides outreach visits with donkeys to residents of nursing homes, hospices and care homes.