In 2015 the The Wonkey Donkey Visitor Centre and Sanctuary opened. The owner Jenny and her family work tirelessly to rescue donkeys that have been cruelly treated. Like Rolo.
His owner tried to castrate him. It’s an old idea some people have, that they can save some money to do it themselves. When it all went wrong, the owner dumped the donkey. Rolo was found with blood leaking from a large wound around his genitals and nearly died from being left to bleed to death. This is just one story of many.
I’ve created a little Donkey painting just for them, after hearing about Jenny being taken advantage of by another artist. She is young, very lovely, and has great compassion and kindness for animals. It really gets my goat (pun intended) when good people are treated like rubbish for the gains of others!
The Wonkey Donkey Sanctuary is a charity based in Knottingley. There are loads of great charities, it’s hard to know who to support and why. Yet as I learned more about this place, the people behind it, not the donkeys, I knew this was an even more worthy cause.
At 10 years old Jenny suffered an accident at school and broke her foot. The hospital ignored it was broken for the first few weeks, before finally putting it in plaster. The shock, pain and trauma led Jenny to become hypersensitive. Her illness worsened to the point where Jenny had to be home schooled and had to learn to read and write all over again. The doctors said it was her bodies response to the extreme trauma and pain she had experienced.
They called it conversion syndrome. You can read the full article about her story in the Yorkshire Post.
When Jenny started to show an interest in horses and donkeys her family decided to try to help her recovery and bought her first donkey. They rescued a baby donkey called Buttons and slowly they helped each other on a special journey of recovery, together. Jenny decided if Buttons helped her recover, she was going to help other donkeys too. And set about building her Donkey Sanctuary dream from scratch, with the help of her family.
In 2017 Jenny took a well earned break from her tireless efforts looking after the sanctuary and attended the Arriella Grande concert in Manchester. At the end of the concert her Aunties arrived to collect Jenny and her cousin, to take them home when their whole lives changed forever.
Jenny’s Aunties were stood next to the bomber, in The Kill Zone, when the bomb went off. You can read part of their story here from the ITV report.
I first met Jenny as she collected a signed Anthony Joshua photograph and T-Shirt that she’d had framed at the gallery and framers where I was working that day. Pomfret Gallery.
I was intrigued into how she had met Anthony Joshua (a famous boxer) when she briefly mentioned she had met him whilst in hospital visiting her Aunties.
Around this traumatic time an artist contacted the donkey sanctuary and asked them if they would be interested in a donkey picture to help raise funds for the charity, Jenny said yes that would be great. They were struggling for funds due to having to spend so much time at the hospital. After the artist left the painting she then subsequently invoiced the young girl for around £400 which she duly paid out of shock. The artist never mentioned a charge and they feel because Jenny is so young and lovely, that she was taken advantage of.
When I heard this, it made me cross. I get sick and tired of people taking what they can from others, just because they might be a kind and lovely person. It’s wrong. I knew then and there I was going to create her my own donkey picture for free for her, Just to balance out the world.
This is now a Limited Edition Print. When you buy this proceeds of the sale will be donated to the Wonkey Donkey Charity. Buy Now To Donate
Visit Wonkey Donkey Facebook page to LIKE and Share to help raise awareness of the charity and to find out more so you can visit them too and their beautiful donkeys. The kids absolutely love it there.
To Donate directly: Bank Transfer – The Wonkey Donkey Visitors Centre. Sort Code: 40-45-11 Acc No: 32271575. For PayPal use firstname.lastname@example.org (use the family and friends option)
Make a Wonkey Donkey happy this Christmas, visit them for a cuddle!
Thank you xx