Care home raising money for the mini donkeys bringing big smiles

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Pictured are Lisa White

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Pictured are Lisa Whitehead, from Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, Ousman Dibba, senior care assistant, Natasha Southerland, magic moment coordinator, Sandra Merritt, from Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing and Theresa Noble, kitchen assistant, with Bo Peep, and her daugher Millie. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

They are mini creatures which bring a big smile to the faces of care home residents.

Mini donkeys, Millie and Bo Peep, were at The Maltings in Fakenham on Thursday, April 21, having first visited the market town’s care home last December.

And now five staff members from The Maltings are giving something back to Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing - to whom Millie and Bo Peep belong - by taking part in the Norwich Inflatable 5K run to raise money for their cause.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Donkey Bo Peep.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Donkey Bo Peep. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Natasha Southerland, joined the care home back in July 2021 as magic moments co-ordinator, and said the team wanted to give something back to the charity after the magic they brought to the home.

“We want to support the people that come to us,” she said.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Theresa Noble, kitchen

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Theresa Noble, kitchen assistant, with Millie. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

“As a care home, we are always asking people for favours to provide our residents with the best experience possible, so when you get the opportunity to return the favour and give back to them it is so lovely to do.”

One of those who enjoyed the visit of Millie and Bo Peep was Joyce Besant, a Maltings resident.

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“It is so wonderful, I love the little donkeys,” she said.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Joyce, petting donkey B

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Joyce, petting donkey Bo Peep. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

“I just love to see them as I love animals, and it reminds me of when I was younger and we had our own in our home, but we never had donkeys.”

Miss Southerland said the experience of residents being together for the visit is even more special after the difficulties of the pandemic: “It is so lovely to see everyone together enjoying these special animals and having a smile on their face.”

Lisa Whitehead, leader of the Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing said the money raised will help them continue their work.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Pam, petting Bo Peep.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Pam, petting Bo Peep. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Mrs Whitehead believes the animals provide a calming experience for people: “I think it is the calmness they offer, as well as reminding people of things from their past.

“Whether they grew up on a farm, or saw them on the beach, it helps remind them of memories of the good times.”

The team of five are hoping to raise £500 for the donkeys through the sponsored run.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Joyce, petting donkey B

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Joyce, petting donkey Bo Peep. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Each runner will be collecting their own sponsorship, they also have a donation tin in the main reception for anyone who would like to donate.

Or you can donate directly to the Miniature Donkeys on its website.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Ousman Dibba, senior ca

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Ousman Dibba, senior care assistant with Bo Peep. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Gillian, petting donkey

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Gillian, petting donkey Millie.

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Dorothy petting donkey

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, visited The Maltings care home in Fakenham. Dorothy petting donkey Bo Peep. - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme