Dreams were made for families with sick and disabled children at a special event in Cotswold Wildlife Park. 

The Oxfordshire Zoo invited 80 families from local charitable organisations, including Swindon, to visit for its ninth annual 'Dreamnight at the Zoo event on Friday, June 7.

This is an invitation-only event for chronically ill and disabled children and their families to exclusively enjoy the wildlife park after hours.

Cotswold Wildlife Park joined more than two hundred zoos and aquariums, from eleven different countries, for the global event that makes dreams come true for some truly deserving guests.

Families came from Oxfordshire hospice care charity Helen & Douglas House, the Rainbow Trust, which supports families with a seriously ill child,  respite nursing charity ROSY, CALM which tackles child leukaemia, the James Hopkins Trust which helps life-limited and life-threatened young children and WellChild

As well as the rare opportunity to see the animals at night when the park is normally closed to visitors, keepers and staff volunteered to make the evening one to remember with some unforgettable animal encounters with the Lemurs, Giraffes and Penguins.

Their night of activities continued with train rides on the park’s narrow-gauge railway, refreshments, herb planting with the Park’s gardeners, games and the chance to meet beautiful birds of prey from Cotswold Falconry Centre.

Richard Crowley, chairman of Swindon-based CALM Charity, said: "Our families were delighted to be invited to the special Dreamnight at the Zoo event and were made to feel like VIPs.

"Children with cancer often miss out on taking part in activities that other children take for granted.

"It was a magical evening with a chance to get closer to the animals and meet the amazing keepers who look after them too. Highlights included feeding the Giraffes and getting up close with the Lemurs.

"A huge thank you to all the team at the Cotswold Wildlife Park for inviting us and making us feel so welcome."