Two inspiring people have been presented with this year’s lifetime achievement awards, an award created in memory of our founder, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, to recognise outstanding contributions to donkey welfare.
Jean Gilchrist and Rosalind de Wesselow were given the Dr Svendsen Lifetime Achievement Award for Lifetime Contribution to Donkey Welfare at a special ceremony at The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon.
Jean dedicated a huge part of her life to working in Kenya where she was instrumental in setting up the KSPCA, the Kenyan equivalent of the RSPCA, and where she pioneered important improvements in donkey welfare over two decades and has left a huge legacy in terms of animal welfare law.
Known for her energy and compassion she threw herself into helping both animals and humans, helping in slums and disaster-hit communities, and becoming fondly known as the ‘mad woman of animals’. She received an MBE for her work.
Rosalind met Dr Svendsen through the Donkey Breed Society and together they dedicated decades to improving donkey welfare. She wrote what is still regarded as ‘the book’ on donkey care, and served as a trustee of the charity for nearly 40 years, until her retirement from that post last year.
On receiving the awards both Rosalind and Jean said what a privilege and a joy it had been to have worked alongside Dr Svendsen to help donkeys.