A candlelit Christmas carol service was held at the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth last week to raise funds and awareness for the Devon-based charity.

Staff at the centre lit over 15,000 tea lights around the Donkey Sanctuary’s grounds for its annual candlelight evening which was held on Tuesday 9 December.

Throughout the year, supporters and visitors to the charity have been invited to purchase a candle to make a wish or express a thought, as a gift for someone special or in memory of a loved one.

On the night nearly 1,000 people turned up to show their support and the candlit service raised over £3,000 for the charity.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s Amanda Gordon told H&H: “We had such a great turn out and it was a lovely evening — it was a bit chilly but at least there was no rain!

“The staff had a really lovely day making stars and angels out of candles, there were a few bad backs the next day though!

As well as the service there was a nativity scene in the donkey barn to enhance the Christmas spirit.

Ms Gordon added: “Even on the coldest of winter evenings, The Donkey Sanctuary by Candlelight has a wonderful cosy atmosphere and quite literally glows.

“Donkeys quietly rest in their stables whilst people mill around the grounds walking through candlelit pathways and displays. The carol service in the main barn adds an exciting and special Christmas feel to the event too.”