We are a small, family-friendly charity run by a group of willing volunteers. The Rescue promotes peace and tranquillity, both for our beloved donkeys and for visitors. 

Durham Donkey Rescue was granted full charity status in February 2023. We have been amazed by how many donkeys arrive with multiple mental and physical problems. We have been equally shocked at the extent of some of the physical problems – we did not expect to see the scale of abuse witnessed, in this country. 

In 2023, we experienced a huge increase in the number of donkeys brought to us, possibly because of the cost-of-living crisis. Fortunately, 2023 has also seen us able to recruit a number of volunteers. This has been crucial to the successful running of the Rescue, and our volunteers have been an excellent source of help, both with donkey care and practical tasks, such as helping to build a new stable which is used on a ‘needs must’ basis. 

We are, however, underfunded and have not yet received any grants. For the Rescue to continue to run, we are always seeking to raise funds.

Ways in which funds can be raised are as follows: 

Sponsorship of donkeys – currently, 14 of our beautiful donkeys are sponsored, at a cost of £4 per month (or a total annual fee of £40) 

Gift Vouchers – can be redeemed for either events or accommodation. Ideal as a gift for a loved one (any amount can be purchased) 

Open Days – we run 8 of these per year (from Spring to the end of the year). Members of the public are invited, and we ask for a donation for entry. (Starting 30 March 2024) 

Walking and Hugging with Donkeys / Meeting and Hugging with Donkeys – (From March 2024) 

We are also hoping to run more Meeting and Hugging Days for people who do not wish or may not be able to walk with the donkeys.

There are several Wellness Days, run for various organisations – these are particularly popular during the summer months. This year we are seeking to extend our Wellness Days. We aim to provide an educational setting where children and adults can interact with the donkeys. We hope to be able to offer further facilities for those with educational needs, or for people recuperating from illness – our location is perfect for those wishing for a little peace and quiet, time out or just simple relaxation for a while.

One very popular source of fundraising is the renting out of our Shepherd’s Hut and Showman’s Wagon – come and stay in the fields with the donkeys during the lighter months of the year. This is also excellent for stargazing as we are located in the countryside with limited light pollution.

During 2024 we are looking to increase our Fundraising Team as we are in dire need of further income. We are hoping to open a Charity Shop in Langley Moor, Durham as soon as time allows for the decorating and refurbishing of the shop.

Aims for 2024

We hope to be in a financial position to expand our stabling. Not all the donkeys who come into our care are able to be re-homed – some have to stay with us permanently because of their particular needs. (For example, in 2023 we took 18 donkeys in, but were only able to re-home 9 of them). The re-homing situation is always difficult. We are determined to vet both the people and homes donkeys will be relocating to stop the cycle of abuse we have, sadly, witnessed since opening. 

A number of the donkeys in our care are both physically and mentally scarred and can come to us for several reasons such as divorce, financial problems, or outliving their owners. 

Our first Open Day this year is Saturday 30th March 2024 (Easter Saturday) 12-2pm.

Entry is by donation on the day. Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed on site because of the nervous nature of a lot of the donkeys. We would kindly ask that all children are supervised by an adult (as donkeys can sometimes bite). 

Please check out our website for this year’s Open Days, availability of our beautiful accommodation and further events. 

We are currently in the process of converting a Sea King Helicopter which has been kindly donated to us. The helicopter is about to be converted into a stable for new donkeys who need to be isolated initially upon arrival. 
Why not be the first to come and visit donkeys living in a helicopter! 

We are always grateful for donations of either money or in goods required for the upkeep of our many donkeys, by way of purchasing virtual gifts –  https://www.peoplesfundraising.com/wall/durham-donkey-rescue 

If you are interested in helping in any way, please see our website – durham-donkey-rescue.co.uk and go to the page “How can you Help?” 

If you are interested in volunteering for a few hours each week, we would love to hear from you There are regular updates on Facebook – Durham Donkey Rescue.

Contact with us may be made via our website: durham-donkey-rescue.co.uk 

We kindly ask that visitors only come to the Rescue on designated days to avoid distressing donkeys who need a peaceful, calm environment in which to thrive – thank you! 

We are located at: 
Durham Donkey Rescue, West Edmondsley Farm, Edmondsley, Durham DH7 6EY 

This is a beautiful setting and particularly lovely to visit in the warm summer months 

Registered charity No. 1201801 

Get CONSETT MAGAZINE straight to your inbox.

* indicates required

Previous article‘Consett in Focus’ Nurturing the Land: A Dairy Farmer’s Tale
Next articleConsett Bridge Club


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here