A popular “therapy” donkey, who has worked at the Donkey Sanctuary’s Manchester centre for several years, is retiring today –  and a party is being thrown in her honour.

Molly, who is 22, is retiring to the charity’s headquarters at Sidmouth, Devon. Her eyesight has been deteriorating over the past few years and she now needs specialist care.

She will receive all the treatment she needs from the Sidmouth centre’s on-site team of vets.

Since 2006 Molly has provided therapeutic visits for elderly people and children with additional needs in Manchester and the north-west, and has even appeared at the Manchester Opera House and Liverpool Empire theatre.

Debbie Coombes, manager of The Donkey Sancuary’s Manchester centre said Molly was “much loved by staff, volunteers and the many nursing homes and other establishments she has visited.

“Whilst we will miss her 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 she needs.”

Despite Molly’s deteriorating vision, Ms Coombes is confident that Molly will continue to lead a happy, comfortable life.

“In the right setting and with the right care, donkeys can cope very well with blindness and sight problems, so we are confident that Molly will be very happy,” she added.

Once she has settled in, Molly’s supporters will be able to visit her at the Sidmouth headquarters as often as they like, as the sanctuary is open 365 days a year.