Newquay Zoo makes dreams come true for young visitors

On Friday June 16 Newquay Zoo threw open the doors after hours to welcome children with life-threatening conditions, along with their families, for a magical Dream Night at the Zoo event.

Dream Night at the Zoo is a global initiative that started in the Netherlands. It provides chronically ill and disabled children, and their families, with the opportunity to make precious memories while enjoying an amazing evening at the zoo.

Newquay Zoo has been hosting the event for the last five years, inviting children from Little Harbour Children’s Hospice in St Austell, Ellie’s Haven in Looe and Treliske’s Oncology Unit.

Around 300 people attended in all. As well as having exclusive access to the zoo for the evening and the chance to learn all about Newquay’s animals from the zoo keepers and rangers, they were treated to an evening packed with entertainment.

Devon and Cornwall Police, as well as the team from Clifton Villa Vets were in attendance, demonstrating what their work entails. There was also music from the St Dennis Ukulele Club Band, mascots, performances from the Bounce Dance Academy and a delicious array of food and drink. In addition, an artist from Williams Caricatures was on hand to draw portraits and capture memories of the evening.

All participants gave their time free of charge to make the Dream Night an evening to remember.

Mike Downman, Newquay Zoo Team Leader of Animals, who organised the event, said: “We are so proud to be able to host this event here at Newquay Zoo. It means a lot to us to help create a special memories that children and their families will be able to cherish.”

Sophie Libby, Ellie’s Haven General Manager, said: “It was amazing to witness this night first hand all the hard work that Mike and his team had put in. It really was a magical night and seeing how happy the children were, made it even more special.”