Lottery winners knit toys to support Norfolk's miniature donkeys

Sarah McPherson, started Mini Donks in May 2017 as a social enterprise that offers visits from its m

Sarah McPherson, started Mini Donks in May 2017 as a social enterprise that offers visits from its miniature donkeys to care homes, schools and hospitals to relieve stress and improve wellbeing. - Credit: Jamie Honeywood

A team of lottery winners with a combined wealth of more than £50 million have knitted soft toys to raise funds for miniature donkeys in Norfolk. 

The 18 knitters picked up their needles when they heard the social enterprise Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing, based in south Norfolk, needed more items to sell at its pop-up Christmas shop. 

They crafted a haul of toy donkeys and woollen carrots. 

Funds raised by selling the toys will help Mini Donks to continue its work taking miniature donkeys to see people with life-limiting conditions, special needs, dementia, and also various community and voluntary organisations. 

Among the knitters were grandmother Susan Crossland, 58, of Mirfield in West Yorkshire, who won £1.2 million in 2008, and 62-year-old Debra Pearce of Southend in Essex, who won £1 million in 2017. 

Mrs Pearce, who was part of a team of lottery winners that helped Mini Donks build a yard extension this summer, said it was "brilliant to support this wonderful organisation again". 

She said: "Every one of these knitted mini donks and carrots have been knitted by someone, like me, who was lucky enough to enjoy a life-changing win on the National Lottery. 

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"It would be nice to think that some of our luck might be passed on along with these knitted toys." 

Sarah McPherson started Mini Donks in May 2017 as a social enterprise that offers visits from its mi

Sarah McPherson started Mini Donks in May 2017 as a social enterprise that offers visits from its miniature donkeys to care homes, schools and hospitals to relieve stress and improve wellbeing. - Credit: Jamie Honeywood

Sarah McPherson, founder of Mini Donks, said: "A gang of National Lottery winners visited earlier this year and worked tirelessly to extend our stable yard, and I mentioned in passing we needed knitters to help with stock for Christmas. 

"I honestly didn't for a second expect National Lottery millionaires from all over the country to give up their time and resources in this way, it really is an early Christmas present for us. 

"We're incredibly grateful for their support, every penny raised on the shop goes straight back into helping provide Mini Donk visits for those with life-limiting conditions.” 

The Mini Donk toys will first go on sale at Beccles Christmas lights switch on. 

Each limited-edition donkey toy comes with a gold head collar, a tag and an accompanying adoption certificate. 

Funds raised will help keep the miniature donkeys fed through the winter months and enable the group to carry out visits. 

Sarah McPherson started Mini Donks in May 2017 as a social enterprise that offers visits from its mi

Sarah McPherson started Mini Donks in May 2017 as a social enterprise that offers visits from its miniature donkeys to care homes, schools and hospitals to relieve stress and improve wellbeing. - Credit: Jamie Honeywood


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