Dream night for sick and disabled children as animal park opens after hours

The Cotswold Wildlife Park opened its doors for a very special evening when it hosted Dreamnight At The Zoo for chronically ill and disabled children and their families to enjoy the wildlife park after hours.

Some 80 families had the rare opportunity to see the animals at night while animal keepers and staff organized unforgettable animal encounters with lemurs, giraffes and penguins.

The night of activities continued with train rides on the park’s narrow gauge railway, refreshments, face painting, planting herbs with park gardeners, games, juggling and the chance to encounter magnificent birds of prey from the Cotswold Falconry Centre.

The park was one of more than 200 zoos and aquariums, from 11 different countries, to take part in the global event that fulfills the dreams of truly deserving guests.

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Dreamnight At The Zoo is the brainchild of zookeeper Peter van der Wulp who, in 1996, organized for the first time a free evening at Rotterdam Zoo exclusively for children with cancer.

Helen Hitchman, Events Organizer and Head of Education and Activities at Cotswold Wildlife Park, said: “Our first Dreamnight at the zoo since 2019 was a huge success.

Oxford Mail:

“Organizing this special evening for such amazing children and their families is a highlight of the year. The Cotswold Wildlife Park staff and other volunteers give generously of their time to ensure everyone has a good time. marvellous.

“It’s an absolute delight to see all the smiling faces around the park. Everyone involved is so excited to be able to help the kids have fun. I also want to thank the charities for all the great work they do. accomplish and for making it possible for as many families as possible to attend the event.”

Oxford Mail:

Catherine Davies, Family Engagement Manager at WellChild, said: “We would like to thank Cotswold Wildlife Park for all of their time, hard work and generosity.

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“Dreamnight at the Zoo is a magical evening where families have a VIP experience. Everyone smiles, laughs and creates memories that will last a lifetime.”

Oxfordshire children and their families are supported by Helen & Douglas House (providing palliative care for terminally ill children and young adults), Rainbow Trust (supporting families with a critically ill child), ROSY (Respite Nursing for Oxfordshire’s Sick Youngsters), CALM (Children’s Cancer and Leukemia Movement), James Hopkins Trust (providing respite nursing care to young children in Gloucestershire whose lives are limited and at risk) and WellChild (giving seriously ill children the best chance of s flourish).

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