We went to Manchester Donkey Sanctuary today. It's about 10 miles from where we live. I only found out about it last year when a friend took her grandson there for a visit.
It's in a very strange place, right bang in the middle of a built up area of Openshaw/Gorton. Not where you'd expect 25 donkeys to be living at all. Anybody can go and visit the donkeys but it's main use is for disabled children to go riding there.
It's a very different set up from the donkey sanctuary Amy has volunteered at in Nerja. The donkeys/horses there have been terribly mis-treated and are in quite a bad way when they arrive. The ones in Manchester have been well looked after but end up there because their owners can no longer physically or financially look after them. If I remember rightly, the horse below is called Pedro and he looked a lot better than this when we last saw him.
We weren't allowed to feed the donkeys but we could leave food in a bucket for the disabled children to give them at the end of the day. I was a bit disappointed really and I could tell that Thomas was as well, but rules are rules.
Amy was disappointed as well. She's volunteered at the sanctuary in Spain since she was 9 and has done all sorts from mucking out, feeding, grooming, walking them out etc. Here you have to be 16 to be a volunteer.
I'm not sure why, but I wasn't allowed to take any photos either. What we could do though was adopt a donkey, buy a drink or purchase a gift from their little shop. I choose a pack of Christmas cards and Thomas picked a notebook.
It was a nice visit but the one in Spain is much more interactive and more fun. Manchester Donkey Sanctuary is a very well run organisation and I'm sure the children who ride there really enjoy themselves.
But in all honestly what's a visit to a donkey sanctuary if you can't give them a carrot.