DREAM NIGHT AT THE ZOO
Ann Evans reports on a special evening in Stratford-upon-Avon for some very special children.
The Stratford Butterfly Farm hosted its second successful Dream Night at the Zoo on Saturday 15 June where everyone enjoyed a relaxing after-hours VIP experience. Ten families with chronically ill children were invited through Zoë’s Place Hospice along with four children currently residing there who were accompanied by Hospice nurses. Based in Coventry, Zoë’s Place provides palliative, respite and end of life care to infants from birth to 5 years suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Last June the Butterfly Farm played host to its first Dream Night at the Zoo for 15 families.
The evening included face painting, Meet the Mini-Beast handling sessions and a visit from the crew of Stratford-upon-Avon Fire Station with their fire engine. Everyone enjoyed a picnic tea with sandwiches donated by local caterers and a delicious handmade cake featuring a ‘hunny bear’ with butterflies. The families were treated to goody bags with gifts donated by local businesses including Something Different, Everyman Cinema, Warwick Castle, Twycross Zoo and The Mad Museum.
Jane Kendrick, Marketing Manager at Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm said, “We were honoured to have hosted this event once again and to see so many families relaxing and enjoying themselves under difficult circumstances. We would like to say a huge thank you to all those that supported us and made donations. In particular we would like to thank the crew of Stratford-upon-Avon Fire Station, Caroline Berwick of Daisyblue Bakehouse for donating the cake, Koffee Kart for donating their time and refreshments, HR Coffee Bar for the delicious sandwiches and finally the staff from Zoe’s Place Hospice who accompanied the children and to the families for attending. We look forward to hosting our third Dream Night at the Zoo next June.”
Dream Night at the Zoo was initially started by Rotterdam Zoo in 1996 when they invited children from the cancer ward of their local hospital along with their families to visit the Zoo in twilight hours away from the crowds. The project quickly grew with other Zoos joining in across Europe, the UK, Canada and America. The mission is to provide an annual, free open evening during June where children are welcomed as VIP guests. The event is exclusively for chronically ill and disabled children, their parents and siblings and is aimed at families who would not normally be able to visit a Zoo or attraction.
To see hundreds of spectacular butterflies, insects, reptiles and spiders visit the Stratford Butterfly Farm from 10am to 6:00pm, which is open every day except Christmas Day. For more information including admission prices and group rates, please visit the website at www.butterflyfarm.co.uk or telephone on 01789 299288.