Donkey charity plans site closures due to rising costs

22 May 2024 News

The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary plans to close four of its sites with redundancies expected due to financial pressures.

It is proposing to shut down donkey assisted activity centres in Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Ivybridge and turn its Belfast site into a small sanctuary and re-homing centre.

According to national reports, 57 roles could be made redundant due to the closures with more than 100 donkeys to be rehoused.

A spokesperson for the Donkey Sanctuary said the charity faces “rising costs, and must adapt if we are to continue making the biggest possible difference with our available resources”.

It has temporarily shut all the centres involved to visitors as it consults on the permanent closures.

“If closures do go ahead, we are confident that all donkeys can be safely relocated to a new home suited to their individual needs,” the spokesperson said.

“We are proposing these changes in order to make best use of our donors’ money and to ensure we continue to achieve our core mission of improving the welfare of donkeys in the UK and around the world.”

Donations drop

The charity’s income dropped by £5.97m in 2022 mainly due to a fall in donations while its expenditure increased by £7.54m, although it still made a surplus of £7.66m, according to its most recent accounts filed with the Charity Commission.

Writing in the latest annual report, chief executive Marianne Steele said: “We have not been immune to the challenges facing us all in an uncertain world.

“Difficult economic factors such as inflation and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis have not only impacted our operating costs but may also affect our rehoming scheme as potential guardians are forced to make more difficult choices.”

The charity employed 685 full-time equivalent staff in 2022 and listed £96.6m in net assets at 31 December that year.

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the free Civil Society daily news bulletin here.


More on