The Donkey Sanctuary

Over Christmas, while at home with my parents in the North, I visited the nearby Donkey Sanctuary

Donkey eating

The sanctuary is home to a variety of donkeys who have been rescued from poor treatment elsewhere. This site is one of many across the country run by the national Donkey Sanctuary charity, which was founded in 1969 by a Yorkshire-woman, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE.

Donkey scratching

As a present for my mum a few years ago, we adopted one of the donkeys, Joey. He’s the oldest donkey at the sanctuary, and needed a bit of persuasion to come and see us, but eventually came out with his jacket to keep warm in the January air. 

Simon the old donkey

The staff here have an incredibly close connection with the animals which they volunteer to care for on a daily basis. A cuddle like this is not uncommon!

Donkey hug

The Donkey Sanctuary in Leeds is free to visit, although it can be worth ringing ahead to check that they are open as they host various events. If you want to find out more about their work or that of the national organisation, or to make a donation, please visit their website at

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