All smiles as donkeys Alfie and Rubik visit care home

Alfie and Rubik from Mini Donks visited Buckingham Lodge in Carbrooke, near Watton

Alfie and Rubik from Mini Donks visited Buckingham Lodge in Carbrooke, near Watton - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

Pet therapy was taken to a whole new level as a pair of four-legged VIP guests visited a Norfolk care home. 

Residents were pleased to welcome donkeys Alfie and Rubik to Buckingham Lodge in Carbrooke, near Watton.

Alfie and Rubik from Mini Donks visited Buckingham Lodge in Carbrooke, near Watton

Alfie and Rubik from Mini Donks visited Buckingham Lodge in Carbrooke, near Watton - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

Their visit came courtesy of Mini Donkeys for Wellbeing, or Mini Donks, which aims to put smiles on faces across the region. 

Company leader Steph Collingbourne said: “It’s amazing to see the magical effect donkeys have on elderly people, especially those living with dementia.

“The animals trigger childhood memories of well-loved pets and donkey rides on the beach. The calm nature of donkeys is also very therapeutic.”

Alfie and Rubik from Mini Donks visited Buckingham Lodge in Carbrooke, near Watton

Alfie and Rubik from Mini Donks visited Buckingham Lodge in Carbrooke, near Watton - Credit: Kinglsey Healthcare


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Mini Donks founder Sarah McPherson was supporting her mother, Patricia Little, through the later stages of dementia, when she discovered that donkeys were the one thing to bring a smile to her face. 

Following her mother’s death three years ago, Ms McPherson resolved to let others enjoy the therapeutic benefits of her donkeys and set up a social enterprise.

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