The Donkey Sanctuary has established recruitment processes that are designed to help managers ensure they are equipped to attract and recruit amazing people through a fair and transparent selection process. All our roles have a job profile which will give you details on the role, and a Person Specification which will detail the essential skills and knowledge we are looking for. This is used as a basis for selecting applicants for interview and appointing the successful candidate.
DAT is a continually evolving department with a focus on delivering Donkey Facilitated Learning to vulnerable people.
We are made up of six centres across the UK. We work with a variety of client groups to develop their life skills through experiential learning and coaching support. Through our programmes we aim to develop life skills such as self-esteem, managing emotions and empathy as well as elevating the status of donkeys.
As well as delivering our Donkey Facilitated Learning our centres are open to the general public and act as regional hubs for The Donkey Sanctuary. They are the homes of some of the resident adoption donkeys so have visitors from all over the country to visit their beloved donkeys.
Typically, we have a diverse team at each centre which reflects the diverse service delivery on offer. Roles such as Equine Assistants and Equine Coaches care for the donkeys and deliver our Donkey Facilitated Learning Programmes. We also have other centre support roles which keep everything else going such as hosting visitors, maintaining the centre and ensuring administrative duties are in order.
People enjoy working in the department for a variety of reasons, many say it is very rewarding to work with donkeys and also see the journey our clients go on to develop their life skills. There is a real variety of work to be done at the centres due to the different activities we undertake. No matter what role people do they are all very passionate and enjoy contributing the care and welfare of the donkeys.
Each centre is a unique family and are very supportive of everyone on their teams. They often spend time together developing their skills and taking part in coaching and training each other. Centres also have a mindfulness ethos so do ensure this is built into the culture of their teams and often they create the opportunity to practice.
The Estates & Facilities Management (EFM) team provides support to the Donkey Sanctuary employees by ensuring that the Charity’s premises are safe, clean, well-presented and suitable for the important work that we do.
Our employees deliver a wide range of services including maintenance, security, refurbishment, cleaning services and project management and include tradesmen, supervisors and managers operating at many levels across the organisation.
EFM team members experience a great sense of job satisfaction as they make a constant and worthy difference to those people working to improve the lives of donkeys.
Two farms in Spain and one in Italy, holding bases around Europe including Portugal, France and Cyprus. Working to improve animal welfare legislation and reduce cruelty and neglect. Early intervention, training and rehoming are effective ways of ensuring donkeys in Europe have improved conditions.
We provide an independent and objective assurance and consulting service aiming to improve the governance, risk management, culture and operations of The Donkey Sanctuary. We aim to enhance and protect organisational value by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice and insight. Although we are a small team, our remit extends over the entire organisation, with responsibility to the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee.
The Internal Audit Department is committed to continuous learning and improvement. We value the different skills and experiences our team members bring to the function.
The Internal Audit Department utilises a rolling cycle of development to nurture talent and embed key skills and behaviours within our team. We have a supportive mentoring culture and place great value on talent development. We are an accredited training provider for the Level 7 ACA qualification from the ICAEW, and develop talent from within.
We are a diverse team and our roles cross over various departments which shows collaboration and compassion.
The Philanthropy team is responsible for building long term, meaningful relationships with Major Donors and Trusts. We work with a supporter/trust to find out their interests and present them with funding opportunities in line with these interests. Once a donation has been made, we take the time to show the donor what impact they have had on our work, and ensure they receive the recognition they deserve.
Working in Reception is very varied; we deal with business visitors, interview candidates and Donkey Sanctuary supporters who call in for appointments or just drop in to say hello. We operate the main switchboard, dealing with all the incoming calls, fielding them to the correct departments and dealing with supporter’s general queries. We project manage Donkey Week - the largest event held by the Sanctuary, when around 300 of our most loyal supporters join us for a week’s holiday where we take them around to all the farms that are not normally open to the general public and organise interesting talks about our work for them to listen to. We also deal with all the Supporter Services queries that need a personal letter.The Telecommunications needs of the charity, both land line and mobile are dealt with by the team. Other responsibilities include looking after the plastic collection boxes that are placed in shops and restaurants; this ranges from issuing the boxes to processing the donations and writing the thank you letters.
We have a mantra here at The Donkey Sanctuary that ‘donkeys come first, second and third’, but we recognise that our wonderful supporters come a very close fourth.
They are the lifeblood of our charity and without their continued support we could not carryout our vital work.
The Supporter Services team is committed to strengthening the charity’s relationship with its supporters and delivering the best possible experience through outstanding stewardship and service.
We’re a passionate team of 14 full and part time administrative employees who work collaboratively with our colleagues throughout the charity to support their fundraising and operational needs.
No two days are the same in Supporter Services, but our tasks and activities include;
We’re so lucky to be able to work in such a wonderful environment and privileged to work for the donkeys in a role that is both fun and rewarding.
The Procurement Department works to ensure that the Charity makes the best use of its resources by seeking value for money on ethical and sustainable third party spend, offering strategic advice and guidance on purchasing and supply issues, managing supply risk and providing operational support.
We work with a network of UK and Internationally based suppliers covering such diverse categories of spend as animal welfare, feed and veterinary supplies; utilities, building and facilities management products and services; capital equipment and projects; marketing and communication services and IT and telecoms, general administration and professional services.
The Procurement Team is comprised of our Head of Procurement, a Procurement Category Lead, three Procurement Specialists, a Procurement Buyer and a Procurement Analyst. These are exciting times for our dedicated team, as we are currently reviewing our procurement practices and procedures and building on the key relationships that we have worked hard to develop over recent times to improve our links with suppliers and enhance the value that we can add to the Charity.
A day in the life of a member of the Procurement Team can be very varied; including holding meetings with suppliers to discuss contractual and supply issues, working closely with stakeholders to scope out future requirements, managing sourcing procedures to identify the suppliers best suited to delivering our needs, developing category and procurement strategies to determine our direction of travel and managing spend data and electronic procurement systems.
With this amount of variety across such a breadth of different categories, a career in Procurement at The Donkey Sanctuary is hugely rewarding and not only brings with it a number of role-specific benefits including training and development but also wider benefits such as volunteering opportunities.
The People team has a real mix of responsibilities which makes it a really interesting team to work in. There are a number of vital roles we play which starts with recruiting people into the Donkey Sanctuary into either permanent or voluntary roles and making sure that, when they join, they feel part of the team as quickly as possible. We also help to train and develop our people to ensure they have everything they need to do a great job and that they are ready for the next step in their career when it comes along. It is our responsibility to ensure that our people are fairly rewarded and provided with good benefits and that they enjoy the environment they work in. We have a number of different roles in the team including our business partners who work very closely with the managers, recruitment advisers, learning and development specialists and our People Advisers and administrators who provide advice and help ensure that everyone is paid correctly by working closely with the Finance Team. One of the greatest things about working in the People Team is how varied the work is, from interviewing candidates to coaching or running a training workshop or working on engagement or well-being initiatives, however the best part about working in the team is the people we are lucky enough to work with across the wider Donkey Sanctuary.
"There is no typical day. 08:00-16:30 with 30 donkeys in a day, or a single case - making sure we do a great job."
"Nice atmosphere. All the staff and visitors are friendly. Visitors always come and ask questions. Getting the positive comments from everyone which is lovely to hear."
"I enjoy working for The Donkey Sanctuary because of the variety of work within carpentry at the sanctuary and not being stuck in an office, moving between indoors and outdoors."
"Working for a charity like this is really rewarding. You know that everything we get (money) goes back to the donkeys. Ultimately, we are here for the donkeys and they are here for the clients. No matter how bad their life has been, they are so forgiving."
"Varied work load, steady hours, one location of work."
"I enjoy working with fresh, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. It’s fantastic to have a job that not only am I doing what I love but I also feel that our work is helping the charity to make a difference to the lives of mules and donkeys worldwide."
"I like being an ambassador for the charity and helping people in different departments. This is my way of helping the donkeys by enabling the employees to work more efficiently."
"There is a strong seasonal element to what we do – focusing on woodland and hedgerow management in the winter and grassland management in the summer. It makes me proud to work alongside a diverse group of people with differing backgrounds and skill-sets"
"A pleasant place to work. Great people."
“No day is the same, however, everyday does incorporate public talks, lots of visitor interaction and talking about the work of the charity; from the donkeys to the history; worldwide work, assisting the grooms with exercise - walking the donkeys or moving them from place to place."
"Make a cup of tea, look at all jobs for the day. Varied work, working outside, with the donkeys, with the troughs, etc."
"It was the role and the organisation that interested me. I liked the variety - a general HR role." "Everyone is so friendly and welcoming here, our values of compassion, collaboration and creativity can be found in our employees and volunteers across the charity.”
"Very busy! Vets coming in on the hour, every hour. Constant flow of samples both internally and externally; looking at bloods, dungs, urine samples, cytology."
"Very different kind of place to work. Not like anywhere else I have ever worked. I get to do what I do with a wide variety of departments, it's not just one department like previous places I have worked. Good to build up a wide portfolio of different aspects."
"There are not many places where you can work in the digital realm with real life donkeys outside your window. I'm proud to work for a charity that has the ability to reach not only donkeys, but the communities they support worldwide."
"Making a difference - providing gold standard veterinary care."
"I mostly enjoy being with the donkeys and working with my colleagues. It's a really nice team and we all help each other out. At Slade House Farm there are lots of visitors and I tell them stories with the donkeys - I am proud to share experiences with them."
"The content team hold a mirror up to the different areas of the charity and reflect back their good work and the impact they have on the donkeys."
"I like how the results at the laboratory help the donkeys. I know my results are helping those that might be ill."
"I applied to work here as I like working outdoors. I volunteered here originally and then asked if I could do an apprenticeship. I like gardening."
"Working here provides a variety of different roles , not just recruiting for one particular sector. One minute it can be Front of House Assistants and the next it is Global Programmes Director."
"Working in this department makes me proud to work at The Donkey Sanctuary; seeing the difference the donkeys make to us and vice versa."
"I enjoy the general splendour - being on this site (Slade House Farm), beautiful views, changeable weather. And the people who work here - colleagues - such a mixture of people."
"Seeing the donkeys bright happy faces in the morning. I like to care for them."
"A nice place to visit. Lots of natural tracks. Pleasant place to work."
"I love my job and enjoy meeting people and seeing children come and appreciate the donkeys and learn about their welfare."
We know just how important a good work-life balance is, so we’re pleased to say that The Donkey Sanctuary isn’t only a great place to work, it’s situated in a great place to live. Welcome to Sidmouth – the West Country’s best kept secret!
A few miles south of the historically famous lace making town of Honiton, Sidmouth is located within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – home to any number of idyllic villages, beautiful valleys, nature reserves, and some of the most breath-taking coastal and hilltop views you’ll find anywhere in the country. The town lies on the Jurassic Coast, England’s first UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, and the vivid red sandstone cliffs that frame it evidence 185 million years of evolution.
Then there’s us – The Donkey Sanctuary. In addition to being one of the world’s foremost equine charities, we are undoubtedly one of the West Country’s premier visitor attractions. Last year, over 350,000 people came to see our lovely donkeys, explore our fabulous visitor centre, and enjoy the fare on offer at our stunning new restaurant. Small wonder we were voted 2018’s “Large Attraction of the Year” at the prestigious Visit Devon Tourist Awards!