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Donkey sanctuary set up after it helped woman recover from illness

If you are stuck for things to do during the Christmas break, why not visit The Wonkey Donkey Visitor Centre just 15 miles from Goole.

The centre was opened in 2015 with the aim to help, support and rehabilitate donkeys in need. What started off as a small place with a few pet donkeys has grown and grown, with the sanctuary now housing over 30 donkeys, six goats, a rescued horse plus four Dartmoor Hill pony foals.

Visitors can walk around and see the donkeys that have been rescued and looked after.

Our Goole chatted to Jenny, the founder of The Wonkey Donkey Visitors’ Centre, who set up the sanctuary as the animals helped her recover from an illness as a child.

Jenny told us: “I opened the Wonkey Donkey in 2015 following a childhood illness when I was left unable to read or write. I had broken my foot at school, but it has been misdiagnosed as a sprained ligament. As I was made to walk on my broken foot for 10 weeks, my brain shut down because of the pain. We didn’t know this at the time, but this is called Conversion Syndrome – this caused me severe pain and trauma to the body and is extremely rare in children.

“The donkeys aided my recovery and this was my way of giving something back in return. In May 2017, my family and I were victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack, with my aunties being seriously injured whilst waiting to pick up myself and my cousin. My aunties are still recovering from their injuries and as a family we have all suffered PTSD. Since the horrific event we are trying to rebuild our family as well as develop the donkey sanctuary.”

Jenny and her team are trying to raise funds and awareness of Wonkey Donkey and hopes everyone in the community will pay a visit to see the lovely work they are doing. There is a lovely visitors’ centre where people can relax at the ice-cream parlour and the kids can unwind at the play area.

So, if you want to meet some real-life donkeys in a stable this Christmas, please visit The Wonkey Donkey Visitors Centre on Facebook for more information.

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