Bernard Matthews supports donkey charity

Bernard Matthews has awarded more than £1,000 to a social enterprise that uses donkeys to bring joy to care and nursing homes in and around East Anglia. 

Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, a not-for-profit initiative established in May 2017, received £1,300 for the work it does to boost the mood of those who are unable to get out.

The organisation takes its miniature donkeys - Pixie, Pippin, Saffron and Bo-peep - to meet dementia groups or people who find social situations challenging and has made 70 visits since being formed.

“We wanted to support a worthwhile project in the heart of our community that would make a real difference to people’s lives and help keep mini donks on the road,” explained Andrew Sherwood, human resources director at Bernard Matthews.

“As people are living longer, we are all experiencing first-hand family or friends with dementia, so we could really connect with what mini donks was seeking to achieve.”

Sarah McPherson, the group’s founder and previously a family carer for two parents with dementia, thanked the poultry brand for its ‘generous donation’.

“This will make such a big difference to our operation and allow us to bring more smiles to people's faces and improve people's mental health and wellbeing,” she said.

“To witness the pleasure that our donkeys give to someone who cannot leave their bed or room is unbelievable. We regularly see tears of happiness and we get people who have not smiled for so long, break out in a beaming smile.

“It’s not just what happens on the day. The excitement building up before a visit and the happy memories it generates for family and friends is so special.”

The donation was one of eight made from the Bernard Matthews Fund to small-scale organisations and charities totalling £10,000.

Administered by the Norfolk Community Foundation, the fund aims to help community groups that operate within the Bernard Matthews’ heartland.

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