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The Donkey Sanctuary is appealing for keen knitters to come forward to help create a herd of hand-knitted woolly donkeys to raise funds for the centre.

The knitted donkeys, which are individually made by supporters of the sanctuary, are sold both in the visitors centre in Sidmouth and online at “ target=”_blank”>www.donkeyworld.org.uk.

“We are thrilled that these little characters have been so successful,” Marian Gumbrell, community fundraising manager, told H&H.

“We’ve been selling them for about a year, but this is the first time we’ve promoted them outside of our newsletter. We need more knitters just to keep up with the demand!”

For anyone wanting to test out their knitting skills, the sanctuary provides a knitting pattern, which originally came from a 1954 edition of Women’s Weekly magazine, and additional instructions.

The sanctuary, which has taken more than 13,600 donkeys in the UK, Ireland and other areas of Europe into its care, is also looking for volunteer guides to run walks during the summer.

“We are a very popular tourist attraction as we are dog friendly and don’t charge for parking or entry,” explained Marian.

“We think a guided walk, where visitors can learn more about the history of the donkeys and the different breeds, will be very popular.”

Volunteer guides will be given full training, including background information about the donkeys and the sanctuary.

For further information about the Donkey Sanctuary, visit www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.

And to receive a free copy of the knitting pattern, contact Ruth in the community fundraising department on 01395 578222.