Donkeys at Trowbridge brings disabled people into touch with life

This Is Wiltshire: The children from Robins class enjoy a ride around the playground at Larkrise School The children from Robins class enjoy a ride around the playground at Larkrise School

A Donkey Therapy Day at Larkrise School, Trowbridge, on Friday was hugely enjoyed by all pupils and staff. Kelly Baker, founder of Danny Donkey & Pals brought along Dermot and Charlie, two therapy donkeys.

Teacher Mandy Humph-reys said: “Pupils were able to touch, cuddle, groom and feed the donkeys as well as taking them for a walk.

Some were able to ride them; others experienced sitting on them. There was lots to learn about the donkeys and the older pupils in particular liked grooming them and picking out their hoofs. We hope they’ll be back to visit us soon.”

Kelly Baker founded the charity after working at a centre which provided equine-assisted therapy for people with disabilities, and realising that transporting large numbers of pupils from schools could be difficult.

Kelly decided to set up a mobile service, taking donkeys to schools to run sessions, – relieving schools of the transport burden and allowing more pupils to have access to their benefits.

Donkey-assisted therapy is an incredibly sensory experience, engaging vision, hearing, touch and smell. Just touching the donkeys can have a positive effect.

They are gentle enough to be led by even the frailest children and are happy to slowly walk beside wheelchairs, giving wheelchair-bound people the freedom to take them for a walk. All the donkeys wear a set of bells to help visually impaired people know where they are.

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