The Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary is a UK based charity dedicated to providing riding therapy with donkeys to children with special needs and disabilities. The aims of the Donkey Assisted Therapy is to bring enjoyment, pleasure, build confidence and allows young people to learn new skills.
The Donkey Sanctuary is an international animal welfare organisation, offering care and protection to donkeys and mules worldwide.
Opened in 2007, our Ivybridge sanctuary is home to donkeys who work with vulnerable people within our donkey-assisted therapy activities and life skills development programme.
Donkeys have an innate emotional intelligence that can help to develop the psycho-social and emotional skill set of humans. We allow our donkeys the freedom to work with our clients on the same level to develop an empathetic relationship, which is mutually beneficial for the client and donkey.
Initially, the programme focused on children with additional needs but over the past four decades the demand for a programme that could help adults and children with a wide range of emotional, psychological and cognitive needs became apparent. As a consequence we are building on the solid foundation established over four decades and further developing what we aim to be a cutting edge programme, focusing on developing key life skills such as self-esteem, managing emotions and empathy.
In addition, 21 members of staff across The Donkey Sanctuary are currently undertaking an accredited Equine Facilitated Learning qualification, which allows the charity to offer Donkey Facilitated Learning programmes to a wider client group encompassing a more diverse set of emotional, psychological or physical needs, such as veterans, youth at risk, recovering addicts or those suffering the legacy of abuse.
- Monday to Friday, 3pm to 5pm
- Closed on Wednesdays
- 10am-3pm on weekends and Bank Holidays (except first Saturday each month when we are closed)
- Everyone, regardless of age
- Cerebral palsy
- Communication impairments
- Down's syndrome
- Hearing impairments
- Learning disabilities
- Mental health
- Mobility issues
- Physical disabilities
- Visual impairments
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