Kier North Tyneside builds donkey stable for local children’s charity
Published by Rebecca Jackson for Kier Services in Housing and also in Communities
Max and Mel the Pathways 4 All donkeys
Kier North Tyneside has built a new donkey stable for its charity of the year, Pathways 4 All. The stable was unveiled in front of friends and supporters of the charity, including North Tyneside Mayor Linda Arkley, at a ceremony held on 14 December. The donkeys were previously sleeping in a disused morgue, but with Kier’s help now have a more appropriate place to rest their heads over the coming nativity season.
Pathways 4 All offers leisure and social opportunities to local disabled children and their families. The charity’s Tim Lamb Centre in Rising Sun Country Park, Benton, homes two donkeys which, as companion animals, act as a focus for the children’s affection helping their therapy and having a direct calming influence.
Despite the rain, spirits weren’t dampened as the Mayor cut the ribbon to the stable and the two donkeys, Max and Mel, made their way into their new home. Children from the charity dressed up and gathered in the stable to sing and perform scenes from the nativity to the crowd as Christmas came early to North Tyneside.
The stable, which is in Rising Sun Country Park, Benton, was built by Kier North Tyneside employees, who gave up their own time to ensure the donkeys weren’t left out in the cold this winter. Kier employees came in early and left late to ensure the donkey stable was completed before Christmas.
Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, Mrs Linda Arkley said: “I am delighted that Kier North Tyneside is able to bring these donkeys in from the cold before Christmas and more wintery weather.
“The Kier North Tyneside team are usually kept busy maintaining and improving North Tyneside’s council homes to a high standard so I’ve no doubt the donkeys will have a home to be proud of thanks to the staff.
“Pathways 4 All is a brilliant charity and the children gain so much from the donkeys which are used as part of their therapy, so everyone is extremely grateful for the project.”
Kier’s regional director for maintenance, Mike Furze, said: “It is extremely important for Kier to support local good causes, whether through donations or the provision of services. When we heard the donkeys may be left out in the cold this winter, it was an instant decision to help. Pathways 4 All provides an invaluable service to local children and we are proud to be able to help in any way we can.
“The rain didn’t deter the crowds and there was a great atmosphere at the stable. The children’s nativity performance lifted everyone’s spirits and topped off the event perfectly.”
Pathways 4 All is a registered charity providing social activities and events for children with disabilities or additional needs within North Tyneside and the surrounding areas. Run by parents, the charity offers a range of services and social networks to support the children and their families.