A SUNNY winter afternoon provided an ideal background for the donkey procession that livened up Malvern’s town centre with colourful costumes and seasonal carols.

The procession was the latest in a series of events organised by retired vicar Val Needham in support of Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land.

Rescue donkeys Alfie, Stella and Bluebell led the procession, which started from the Abbey Gateway and visited cafes, pubs and hotels in the town centre, where carol singers serenaded customers.

Four-year-old Mia Zolman was also a star attraction, performing dances to each of the carols.

Ms Needham said: “The costumes looked wonderful in the bright winter sunshine, the donkeys enjoyed all the pats and cuddles from the public and everyone was in good voice.

“We also had lots of lovely comments from the onlookers – people told us the procession was ‘magical’ and ‘enchanting’ and that we had helped their Christmas really get started.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to the members of the public who were so generous and also to the pub and cafe owners who let us collect on their premises.”

The total raised on the day was £216.99 and the procession ended with a concert at Lyttelton Well with performances by West Malvern Voices, Will Coleman, Theo Cranmore and Flatworld.