Equine welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary has appointed Marianne Steele as its new permanent chief executive.
Steele joined the charity in 2010 as director of fundraising and communications and more recently stepped into the role of acting ceo, successfully steering the charity away from any negative impact of the Covid pandemic while developing a new five-year organisational strategy.
She said: “I am delighted to lead The Donkey Sanctuary on the next stage of its journey.
“For five decades the charity has been a powerful and enduring force for good. Driven by an extraordinary heritage of scientific and veterinary excellence to make the world a better place for both donkeys and the communities who depend on them.
“It’s a privilege to lead our cause and to serve the phenomenal staff, volunteers and partners who help deliver it.”
The Donkey Sanctuary claims to be the world’s largest equine welfare charity, running 10 sanctuaries around the UK and Europe, giving lifelong care to more than 7,000 donkeys and mules. The charity trains vets, operates a hospital and runs a donkey-facilitated learning programme to help vulnerable children and adults develop life skills by connecting with donkeys on an emotional and physical level. It also operates programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation, and those used in the production of meat and skin.
Chair of trustees Paul Lunn added: “I am confident that in Marianne we have found an outstanding leader who is the right match for our charity.
“Her passion, commitment and vision for The Donkey Sanctuary won through and I believe, under her guidance, we can move forward with a clear sense of purpose.”