Donkeys wrapped up warm for winter thanks to knitting trio's efforts

Brooklands care home residents got a special surprise after knitting six blankets for the Mini Donks.

Brooklands Care Home residents got a special surprise after knitting six blankets for the Mini Donks. - Credit: Jamie Willimott

Three women who have built a bond with a herd of mini donkeys were worried their four-legged friends might catch a cold this winter. 

So the trio, who live at Brooklands Care Home in Costessey, got to work making blankets for the gang of miles. 

Pat Kedge, Sylvia Arnold and Betty Frankland met the 'mini donks' as part of a wellbeing project organised for residents. 

Jamie Willimott, the lifestyle coordinator at the home said: “Some of our ladies had the idea to help keep the donkeys warm in the winter by knitting them some cover blankets in the colours of the Mini Donks company.  

The ladies made sure their blankets were made in Mini Donks colours. 

The ladies made sure their blankets were made in Mini Donks colours. - Credit: Jamie Willimott

“Three of our ladies got involved with the project and knitted six blankets.” 

The hero trio were then invited to the sanctuary this week to deliver their gifts to the appreciative animals. 

Mr Willimott added: “The ladies felt a great deal of pride and achievement in being able to keep the donkeys warm.” 

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He added: “It's so rewarding to see our residents responding in such a positive manner.” 

The Mini Donks were very grateful. 

The Mini Donks were very grateful. - Credit: Jamie Willimott

Pat said: “It was a great feeling knowing we were helping these beautiful animals.” 

Sylvia agreed, adding: “I am very happy as the donkeys deserve it.” 

The ladies were very excited to be able to deliver their blankets in person. 

The ladies were very excited to be able to deliver their blankets in person. - Credit: Jamie Willimott

Betty went on: “I feel honoured to give them something after the joy they bought to us.” 

Sarah McPherson, managing director at Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing - also known as Mini Donk - was so touched when she learned that the “wonderful knitters” from Brooklands has made these blankets in the Mini Donk colours.  

The Mini Donks are very good for wellbeing. 

The Mini Donks are very good for wellbeing. - Credit: Jamie Willimott

The Mini Donk yard is not open to the public so it was very special for the three ladies to be invited.  

Sarah said: “They had done such an amazing job, I thought the donkeys would want to thank them in person.

“The blankets will help keep the donkey's snug and warm on their winter visits to care homes and other community settings.” 

Sarah’s mini donkeys provide wellbeing visits to venues such as care homes, hospitals, psychiatric units, dementia groups, SEN schools and other community groups.  

The trio of knitters had a up-close and personal meeting with their new friends. 

The trio of knitters had a up close and personal meeting with their new friends. - Credit: Jamie Willimott

People get to meet the donkeys, groom them, take them for a walk, or just spend time in their company.

This helps to reduce stress levels, connect with happy memories and share special moments with the gentle creatures.  

Sarah McPherson, Managing Director at Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing Ltd with Pippin and Little Jack Rabbit.

Sarah McPherson, managing director at Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing - aka Mini Donks - with Pippin and Little Jack Rabbit. - Credit: Jamie Willimott

What is a mini donkey? 

Mini donkeys hail from the Mediterranean Islands and as a result are sometimes referred to as Mediterranean donkeys.

A male mini donkey is called a Jack and a female is called a Jennet. 

Mini donkeys usually weigh between 250 to 450 pounds and are at least 32-inches in height.

They are also very social and so cannot be raised alone - they must always have a companion or they will get lonely. 

Mini donkeys usually live to the age of about 40, though some have been known to live up to 47 years. 

Donkeys like to eat grass and hay and should have access to a pasture. 

They should also have access to fresh water which should be checked for algae and insects at every opportunity - with buckets or troughs placed out of direct sunlight where possible.  

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