Donkey sanctuary is preparing for a difficult winter

Tracy's book.
Tracy's book.

A donkey sanctuary near Alford is preparing for a harsh winter caring for its 59 residents - and is hoping that sales of a Christmas book will help raise awareness.

Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary in Huttoft is desperately appealing for funds towards the £9,000 costs of building a winter shelter to accommodate its increased number of donkeys.

Two of the resident donkeys, Hector and Genie, are over 40 years of age, and owner Tracy Garton says they have ‘big concerns’ for how they will cope.

A couple of months ago, site volunteer Gary Thornton set up a JustGiving page to help boost the charity’s funds - which have been reduced greatly by a number of veterinary bills.

The JustGiving page, which has since closed, ended up raising more than £1,000 in just two months.

Sanctuary owner Tracy Garton had a book published last year, called ‘Alan The Christmas Donkey’ - featuring the heartwarming true tale of a little donkey who helped save the sanctuary that took him in.

So far it has garnered an impressive 41 four-five star reviews on Amazon - and in the national press, including the Daily Express, which called it ‘warm, funny and charming’.

Tracy said: “I have loads of letters saying how much they enjoyed the book so it has been good for raising awareness of the sanctuary.”

The book has sold around 38,000 copies although the sanctuary sees very little royalties from its sales.

“I think it raises awareness of the sanctuary more than funds, so not a bad thing,” added Tracy.

The book is available on Amazon, priced £7.99 for the paperback or £5 for the Kindle version.

• If you can help Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary visit www.radcliffedonkeys.com, or call 01673 842448.