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Alfie and Rubik bring donkey magic to Buckingham Lodge

buckingham lodge nursing home donkey visit 1

VIP guests Alfie and Rubik brought a ray of sunshine on a rainy afternoon during their visit to Buckingham Lodge care home.

Taking pet therapy to a whole new level, the four-legged visitors from Mini Donkeys for Wellbeing make faces light up when they make their grand entrance at care homes across Suffolk and Norfolk.

And the story was no different when two of the donkeys, Alfie and Rubik, were introduced to residents at Kingsley Healthcare-run Buckingham Lodge in Norwich Road, Carbrooke, near Thetford.

Mini Donkeys for Wellbeing 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.”

She said it had been a tough time for their social enterprise during the pandemic but bookings had flooded in since the easing of the lockdown.

Buckingham Lodge manager Kathryn Abbs said: “It’s lovely to see the smiles on faces that the donkeys bring – even on a cool and rainy August afternoon.”

Mini Donks founder Sarah McPherson, from Hempnall, south of Norwich, was supporting her mother Patricia Little through the later stages of dementia when she discovered that donkeys were the one thing that really brought a smile back 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 her social enterprise.

Find out more about Buckingham Lodge nursing home

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Some of the accreditations and awards we’re really proud of:

  • We are a Living Wage Employer
  • Regulated by Care Quality Commission
  • chuk 2023 v3
  • Enabling Research in Care Homes
  • Pinders Healthcare Design Awards 2019 Winner
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