RESIDENTS of a Flintshire care home were treated to some Christmas magic when they received a visit from two Shetland ponies, that were dressed as Elves.

Those at Marleyfield House in Buckley have been very lucky this year, enjoying lots of visits from the community including choirs, church services, local schools and pre school and even a visit from Santa himself on his float.

And, last week the festive spirit arrived once more Joanne Turner, who runs Animal Encounters, brought her daughter Lexi, aged seven, along with her and the 'elves' to meet the residents.

Lexi often helps the family-run business and enjoys taking all their animals to residential care homes.

At a visit back in October, she said she wished she could make all elderly people happy at Christmas with the animals so they decided to visit as many care homes as possible with the ponies for free.

Joanne said: "Lexi just wants to make people smile and loves chatting to them on these visits. She loves changing into her own elf outfit when she gets home from school ready to go visiting with the ponies."


Lyn Hulme Activity Coordinator at Marleyfield House said "when I heard that Animal Encounters were offering visits to care homes at Christmas I immediately contacted them to ask if we could be included if possible.

"And was delighted to hear that that they were doing this for free just asking for coins and coppers for charity.

"The residents love animals so having two ponies come to visit in elf outfits was a fabulous treat for us all. Lexi is a lovely girl and very thoughtful to want to raise money for Hope House.

"Louise and I chatted with our residents the morning of the "elves" visit and decided rather than put coppers in the bucket that ourselves and the residents would do our own fundraiser in order to raise more funds for Lexi to hand over to Hope House.

The Leader: PIC: One of the Marleyfield care home residents meeting one of the Shetland ponies.

"We thought that it was a good way to give back to the community and a chance for us to have some fun and hope Lexi and her mum will come and join us after Christmas when we do this"

Louise Edwards, deputy manager at Marleyfield House said.."Marleyfield is a beautiful home which prides itself on the care of the residents, so it was wonderful to see all the smiling faces when the ponies visited.

"Lexi chatted to all the residents whilst they stroked the shetland ponies. All our residents are still talking about it. I can't thank Animal encounters enough for the visit and look forward to future ventures together"