Party planned as Molly heads for retirement


Popular therapy donkey Molly, who works at The Donkey Sanctuary’s Manchester Centre, in England, will get a fitting send-off today as she retires and returns to the charity’s headquarters in Sidmouth, Devon, to receive treatment for her failing sight.

The charity is inviting supporters to attend a party in Molly’s honour from 2pm at the centre in Abbey Hey.

Molly, 22,  has been providing therapeutic visits for elderly people and children with additional needs in local communities across Manchester and the north west since 2006, visiting nursing homes, schools, hospitals and hospices.

Over the last few months, staff noticed that Molly was experiencing a deterioration in her eyesight. Moving from Manchester to Sidmouth will allow Molly to receive specialist care that she needs for her worsening sight.

Debbie Coombes, manager of The Donkey Sanctuary’s centre in Manchester, says: “Molly is very much loved by the staff and volunteers here at the Manchester centre, our supporters from far and wide and the many nursing homes and other establishments she has visited.

“She has worked as far afield as Preston, Blackpool, Stoke, Merseyside, Cheshire and all over the Greater Manchester and Tameside regions, and even appeared on stage at the Manchester Opera House and Liverpool Empire.

“Molly is to have a ‘leaving do’ on Tuesday to give her many supporters the chance to wish her farewell and a long and happy retirement. The party will be from 2pm to give all her supporters a chance to see her.

“Whilst we will miss her here at Abbey Hey, I am really pleased that Molly is able to move to Sidmouth where she will be able to receive the specialist treatment that she needs from the on-site team of vets.

The sanctuary has surroundings designed specifically for donkeys with visual impairments.

“Once she has settled in, supporters will be able to visit Molly along with her new friends in the group of donkeys with sight problems.  The Donkey Sanctuary’s Sidmouth headquarters is open 365 days a year with free admission and parking, so Molly’s fans will be able to visit her as often as they like.”

Reporting: Emma Gill

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