CHILDREN from Hebden Green School enjoyed some spooky fun to raise hundreds of pounds for their new friends at a donkey sanctuary.

The Winsford school has affiliated with the Donkey Sanctuary Manchester, part of a Devon-based charity founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen.

The sanctuary at Green Fold is open every day of the year, admission is free, and the organisation depends on the support of the public.

Evidence shows that spending time with animals can have a direct calming influence, and the school held a Spooky Sensory Day, which raised more than £200 for the charity, which offers donkey-assisted therapy.

“Thank you to everybody who worked so hard to make our Spooky Sensory Day such a fun time for our pathway one pupils,” said Faye Bye, lead SMSCD teacher at the school.

“Everybody had a great time and it was fabulous to see us all being able to learn together.

“We have totalled up, and are really proud to say that we raised more than £200 for the donkey sanctuary from completing our Spooky Sensology.

“This is an amazing achievement, and means we are able to give something back to the donkey sanctuary to thank them for donating their time to come and work with us.

“Thank you to everybody who sponsored our pupils and who collected sponsor money – an amazing result - well done pathway one.

“We have had one visit so far from the donkey sanctuary, which was enjoyed by some of our early years, key stage one and pathway one pupils.

“These pupils experienced donkey rides, grooming and generally caring for these lovely creatures.

“The intention is that the visits will continue throughout the year and other pupils from across school will also have the chance to learn how to provide and care for the donkeys.

“We will be doing some fundraising for our new friends over the year.”

Devon-based Donkey Sanctuary celebrates 40 years of providing donkey assisted therapy on November 25.

Over the past 40 years its therapy programme has grown, and now gives more than 50,000 donkey assisted therapy sessions a year.