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Wish come true – 71-year-old reunited with her favourite animals

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A 71-year-old Mill View resident saw her wish to spend time with her favourite animals come true after donkey’s years.

Mill View took resident Brenda Pearce, 71,on a trip to East Clayton Farm for a special donkey walk. 

A lifelong animal lover, Brenda, who moved to Mill View in 2018 and is living with dementia, rescued and kept a pair of donkeys, Belinda and Pickles, for over ten years. She also donated funds to her local sanctuary for decades, and used to take part in donkey gymkhanas, with donkeys and their owners displaying their talents.

As part of the wishing tree initiative, the team at Mill View encourage residents to submit wishes, no matter how big or small, whether they’re related to something they’ve never been able to do, or something they’d like to do again. 

Brenda had made a wish on the home’s wishing tree to be with donkeys again, so the home got busy organising a special afternoon for Brenda to be reunited with her favourite animals. 

On the day, the wet weather was not enough to stop Brenda from taking a trip down memory lane, as she was given the opportunity to walk one of the donkeys at East Clayton Farm.

Brenda, who is living with dementia, often struggles with her day-to-day memory, however when she arrived at the farm and started interacting with the animals, she started remembering some very specific details about the donkeys she used to keep. 

Lifestyle coordinator at Mill View, Miriam Markham, said: “We always like to go the extra-mile for residents here at Mill View, and like to make their wishes come true, no matter how big or small. 

“It was incredible to see Brenda’s face light up when she first walked into the farm and spotted the donkeys. It really showed how beneficial animal therapy can be for older people, especially those living with dementia, by encouraging reminiscence. Brenda was thrilled to spend the afternoon around her favourite animals – not only did she recall more details about her donkeys, she even started to remember more details about her younger years, which really put a big smile on her face. It was a fantastic day for everyone involved.”

Open to new residents

Sunnyside Close, Dunnings Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 4QW

Mill View

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

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