The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon is inviting visitors to come and celebrate its 27th annual Donkey Week which kicked off yesterday (Tuesday 5 May).

There are 2,400 donkeys waiting to be made a fuss of at the sanctuary’s seven Devon and Dorset farms, which are not normally open to the public, plus the main sanctuary near Sidmouth.

Spokesman Amanda Gordon said: “Admission is free and we welcome anybody who would like to come down, meet the donkeys and learn a bit more about what we do.”

The charity, which was founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendson, launched its Sanctuary from Suffering campaign this year to highlight its work in 18 countries around the world including Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Mexico.

Ms Gordon added: “In these countries Sanctuary from Suffering comes in the form of free mobile clinics and education for donkey owners, children and veterinary surgeons and students.”

The charity relies entirely on donations. For more information go to www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk