Ruth Stronge
Snowdonia Donkey Sanctuary (working as a partnership tutor for Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales)

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Ruth Stronge established Snowdonia Donkeys in 2013, a sanctuary that aims to provide opportunities for a diverse range of people to enjoy the outdoor environment, improve health and wellbeing and learn new skills.

Working as a partnership tutor for Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales, the sanctuary delivers a variety of outdoor courses based at the farm, many of which are supported by the Gwynedd and Môn Adult Community Learning grant.

Ruth developed her first course for vulnerable adult learners to help build their confidence by learning how to look after the donkeys, many of the learners have gone onto volunteering with the sanctuary and are now looking to progress onto the next level.

Building on the success of the first course and widening her reach, Ruth went on to design two new courses in family learning and another course where adults can come together to learn how to grow fruit and vegetables on her farmland.

Through their partnership with Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales, Snowdonia Donkeys have run an accredited course on animal care focused on supporting young adults.

The sanctuary’s Long Ears Listening project started during the pandemic to provide opportunities for parents and pre-school children to play in the woods, listen to stories and interact with the donkeys.

Ruth says, “As an experienced early years teacher, this project was one of my life ambitions when I left the school environment. I am passionate about reaching people furthest away from education and employment and offering them a positive experience at the sanctuary.”

Fostering good health and wellbeing is central to the ethos of the sanctuary. This is evident in the project that Ruth has taken on with adult community mental health, offering one to one sessions for people with additional learning needs.

With Ruth’s creative, dynamic and supportive approach, the sanctuary has been a safe haven for many, it has allowed her learners to develop their confidence and interests.

She says, “Seeing the learners and volunteers interact and learn from both the natural world and, of the course our donkeys, is something that never fails to inspire me.”

Inspire! Tutor Awards partnership

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