Today, Sylvia's dream of coming to see the donkeys came true with the help of her daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Tom. Along for the day was one of Sylvia's grandchildren, Steve. The family were on holiday from Essex and had spent the week touring around Dartmoor and Devon, before heading up to Birmingham to drop Steve back at the University where he is in his final year studying archaeology and history.
Sylvia has always loved donkeys. As a child, she lived on the Isle of Sheppey. She recalls "I used to go with my brother and sister to watch the donkey rides along the beach at threepence a go. I used to feel sorry for them going up and down all day long. They never seemed to get cross".
After lunch at the Hayloft restaurant, we walked round to the Main yard and spent some time with the donkeys. First to come over was Barney, a 33 year old donkey who came into the Sanctuary with his son, Bruno, who is himself now aged 18. Tarnia was also on the Main yard enjoying the company of all the visitors. This was a very moving time for Sylvia as the donkeys came over to to give her some of their own tender loving care.
On the way out of the Main yard, we stopped off to see Cobus, a 14 year old miniature donkey. Alongside him was Ruby and Simba, who you may remember came into the Sanctuary at the beginning of this year.
Although Sylvia was in a wheelchair, we took a walk around the Sanctuary to go and see the blind group of donkeys who were now out enjoying the warmth of the sunshine and grazing on the lovely green grass.
At the far end of this walk we found Gypsy, the mule, and Torrent, one of the Poitou donkeys living here at the Sanctuary, who both obliged by coming over for some attention.
It was a tug on the heart strings for Sylvia, spending the day at the Sanctuary. The family's whole week had been organised to give Sylvia a very special holiday - some dreams do come true.