A Call To Bray : Volunteer Appeal To Save Country Show For Rescued Donkeys

Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary, located in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell near Wallingford, Oxfordshire is a tranquil haven of hope and promise; punctuated only by the  occasional stammered bray, the decisive sound of hooves as supper beckons or the joyful  sounds of people positively changing lives for the better.  A world away from the bustle and burdens of everyday life, the sanctuary is a worthy visit for all who value serenity and something different. It is home to an unusually diverse range of rescued donkeys each with  their own tale of adversity to a kinder destiny.

Their impeccable condition, mellow  disposition and collective sense of calm conceal their individual scars but each is testament to the care and magic of Island Farm, where they are all now safe together.

For over 25 years, a loyal band of faithful volunteers, under the steady seer of John  McLaren, have enriched the lives of countless donkeys through their dedicated yard, office  and fundraising work. Sadly, many of the veterans are no longer able to help as they once could but these reluctant valedictorians are not being adequately succeeded by much-needed  new –comers to keep up with on-going need. The last thing those committed to the  sanctuary want is for its future to be threatened.

Now, with the first flush of Spring, Island Farm looks to plan the annual two-day Country Show at the end of May. This provides vital funding to help run the sanctuary through the rest of the year. However, unless help can urgently be found, 2023 may be the year the country show does not happen; not because the work of the sanctuary is no longer needed, or through a lack of interested supporters and visitors but simply because of a lack of able volunteers.

People of all ages and abilities are desperately needed to help not just with physical tasks such as erecting the marquees but with lots of other jobs too in the organising and running of this popular community event. All are therefore invited to volunteer as much or as little help they are able, whether it be individuals, couples, groups or community organisations. It is a great opportunity to do something fun and worthwhile with the reward of fresh air, new friends and purposeful activity which benefits the community and donkeys alike ! It could be great as work experience for a CV or just  something enjoyable and interesting to do with a few spare hours. The new King is also  encouraging everyone to undertake some type of voluntary activity in May as part of his  coronation celebrations this year.

If anyone is interested in helping in any way to enable the 2023 Country Show to proceed, please get in touch with Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary as soon as you can, either  by phone 01491 833938, e-mail: mail@donkeyrescue.org.uk or call in to the Sanctuary  between 10 and 4pm any day for a chat.

May is really not very far away now. There  will also be a meeting at the Sanctuary OX10 0SW on Tuesday 21st February 2023 at 18:30  for anyone interested to find out more and ask any questions. All are welcome to attend.

Please do come along if you are interested. We really look forward to seeing you there ! Your time and interest is very much appreciated.