Sales of carrier bags help feed animals at donkey sanctuary

Donkeys at a sanctuary near Tamworth have had plenty of food to munch on, thanks to a £1,000 donation from a community charity fund.

The money from Tamworth Co-op’s Cash in the Bag scheme has enabled Polesworth Donkey Sanctuary to top up its supplies of rolled oats and other tasty treats for the animals.

The centre was set up in March 2023 to rescue and care for unwanted or mistreated donkeys and has become a popular attraction with visitors young and old.

Karl Vyse presents Cash in the Bagh cheque to Polesworth Donkey Sanctuary

Pictured at the presentation are (l-r): Jenny Williams, co-owner of Polesworth Donkey Sanctuary, her eleven-year-old grandson Charlie Bridgewater, who helps out at the centre, Karl Vyse, manager of Polesworth Co-op, and senior supervisor at the store, Emily Arnold.

The family-run not-for-profit organisation also provides a home for other animals, such as alpacas, goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, horses, ducks and guinea pigs.

Co-owner Jenny Williams said the donation would help to feed and care for the donkeys whose diet also includes hay, straw, carrots, apples and other vitamins to keep them healthy.

“We rely solely on donations and customers visiting the sanctuary to help us give all our rescued animals the support they need. It costs £150 a week to feed them all. So, we’re very thankful for this support. We have 10 donkeys here at the moment, including six that were used for donkey rides and have come here to retire.

“One of the donkeys, Patch, is 25 years old. We also have three that were donated by an old lady who couldn’t look after them any more. Some of them have been companions to horses.”

She added: “Children can come here and feed and touch them. We also take the animals to old people’s homes and events to raise money and have had visitors from as far as Derby and Nottingham.

“The work here never stops. We have 10 volunteers who help us. Two are adults with special needs.”

Karl Vyse, manager of Polesworth Co-op, who presented a cheque for the cash raised from the sale of carrier bags, said: “It’s wonderful that the donkeys and the other animals have got a great home and are being looked after so well, but they’re also bringing pleasure to a lot of people. I’m proud that we’ve been able to support them like this.

“This year (2024) we are handing out £12,500 to 16 different groups in the area.”