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The Donkey Sanctuary Birmingham

All our Donkey Assisted Activities are free of charge. Our charity does subsist purely on donations, so any contribution you can make is gratefully received.

Clients require a referral form to be completed on their behalf by a referring organisation (such as a medical practitioner, charity or support organisation). The referral form is assessed before a taster Session is offered. The Taster Session is the second stage of the referral process – it provides the client, support person and the staff member at The Donkey Sanctuary an understanding of the needs of the client and the best possible programme.

Should a client be offered a programme, there are three different programme options. These are Donkey Facilitated Learning (DFL), Donkey Management Programmes (DMP) and Wellbeing with Donkeys (WWD). These ground-based activities support people’s self-development and wellbeing, helping individuals to better deal with challenging and stressful situations in everyday life, whilst also promoting positive attitudes towards donkeys.

DFL is experiential learning in the presence of donkeys supported by a qualified facilitator. The aim of these sessions is to create a space for individuals to discover their own capabilities, offering opportunities to develop wellbeing and life skills, through observations of, and interactions with, the donkeys.

DMP is an activity led programme, educating people on donkey welfare and wellbeing, through a physical approach. These sessions help to develop a greater understanding of the donkeys’ day-to-day care, whilst offering a unique learning environment that supports self-development and wellbeing, creating positive relationships between humans and animals.

WWD encompasses a unique range of sessions, offering the time and space for individuals to focus on developing skills around self-awareness, self-care and work-life balance, in natural surroundings. With a focus on promoting physical and mental health, sessions may involve interactions with donkeys, participation in mindfulness activities, or specific coaching support to develop awareness of emotional and physical wellbeing.

Our programmes run throughout the week and a weekly time slot can be agreed upon on an individual basis depending on the scheduled slots for the programme chosen. There may be a waiting list for these programmes.

Our Donkey Assisted Activities cater for all those who have the ability to interact with animals in a calm manner and follow the directions from our animal handlers. We have many years’ experience of working with clients with all of the additional needs listed above and all areas of our Centre are disabled access.

Sessions can include carers alongside those they care for or can be given specifically for carers themselves. All participants in the session should have the ability to follow directions and reflect on their experiences with the donkeys. It is the experiential process of interaction and reflection that we find develops wellbeing and life skills in those who participate in our Donkey Assisted Activities.

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