Carol services are a major part of the Christmas season and Tom Browning’s class in the special needs school in St Raphaels, Celbridge, Co Kildare were practicing their special Carol “Little Donkey”. So Tom thought he would invite The Donkey Sanctuary to bring a donkey or two.
Donkey Welfare Adviser Cathy Griffin responded and enlisted the help of fellow DWA Ian Colton and his donkeys Phoenix and Baxten. On a cold Tuesday on 20 December 2016 the donkeys were on the lawn complete with tinsel on their bridles. The children, teachers and helpers all emerged from the church to see the donkeys, to get to pat the donkeys, get the photo and most importantly sing “Little Donkey”.
Tom commented “the donkeys were amazing, so kind and gentle and for the pupils in my class who have ASD to be able to meet such gentle creatures was true Christmas magic.” Cathy was delighted that so many of the children were able to stroke the donkeys and just enjoy the feeling of getting up close and hands on. Ian was proud that his two rescued donkeys behaved and were happy to receive the attention.
Tom the teacher gave us a glowing review:
"Wow, a massive thank you to everyone at The Donkey Sanctuary for their kind visit to our school yesterday. Cathy, Ian and James were amazing! They heard that my class at St. Raphael's Special School were singing 'little donkey' for our Christmas carol concert and so they brought Baxton and Phoenix to the school to join in the festivities. The donkeys were amazing, so kind and gentle and for the pupils in my class who have ASD to be able to meet such gentle creatures was true Christmas magic. The school has fallen in love with donkeys and we are proud to have adopted Roisín as our own donkey. What an amazing organisation full of generous people doing fantastic work. Many, many thanks."
The good-byes all said, the children boarded their buses and the donkeys loaded easily into their horsebox. The Carol service was over – now its just 4 sleeps till Santa!