Dreamnight at Newquay Zoo

Written by: Michelle Turton

Submitted: 21st June 2007

On Friday 15th June Newquay Zoo hosted its second annual Dreamnight event for chronically ill and disabled children, their parents and brothers and sisters.

Left, Ted the ferret and right, Alvin the Skunk meet some special V.I.P's at the zoo.

Meeting Alvin the Skunk

Newquay Zoo Free of Charge for Very Special Children and Their Families

On Friday 15th June Newquay Zoo hosted its second annual Dreamnight event for chronically ill and disabled children, their parents and brothers and sisters. Lorraine Reed Event Organiser explains "This is the second year we have run this special event and we feel very privileged to be able to open the zoo free of charge for these very special children and their families to enjoy an evening out together. Families from Little Bridge House in Devon (The Southwest Children's Hospice) and Sennen Ward at the Royal Cornwall Hospital enjoyed everything from feeding the animals, facepainting, barbecue, animals encounters, ice cream and goody bags, and thankfully the rain held off for the evening. I have to give a very big thank you to all the staff and volunteers who gave up their time to host this evening and to the very generous businesses who helped support this event which made it all possible."

The zoo's catering department donated all the food, drinks and ice creams and the following companies donated gifts for the children with Tecker Ltd donating £250 towards the children's goodybags. Thanks to The Carole Group, Gifts Galore, Oasis, Deluxebase, Ravensden, K&M Wild Republic, Bristows and Keeltoys.

Meeting a ferret

Meeting a ferret

Background Information on Dreamnight

Dreamnight at the zoo started back in 1996 by Diergaarde Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam and has now grown to include zoo's from all around the world including Australia and Japan. Each zoo organises this event in its own way, but in all the zoos the children are welcomed and treated as V.I.P.'s. They get a warm reception, they can come into as close contact with the animals as possible and get a more intimate view of the zoo than the average zoo visitor and ask the keepers lots of questions.

It is fantastic to observe all the happy faces of the children, and to see the relatives of the children, who often have a very heavy burden to bear, also having a good time. Meeting similar families, also having a very nice and care free evening without the everyday problems, is another enjoyable aspect of these evenings.

It is also a very special and satisfying evening for the zoo employees and volunteers. Everyone, including the director, keepers, gardeners, technicians, education, restaurant staff etc. all work together for the common goal. Making an unforgettable evening for these children and their families is a perfect team–building experience. Zoo employees volunteer to work that evening. It is fun and a rewarding job to do.

Children's Hospice http://www.chsw.org.uk/index.cfm?type=N

Dreamnight http://www.dreamnightatthezoo.nl/English/index_EN.htm