On Saturday 6th September Dartmoor Zoo provided a day of entertainment for our Stepping Stones families, a project which supports children who have a parent with a terminal illness.
During term time the children and young people meet on a bi-weekly basis, but this summer we wanted to provided days trips for the whole family, not only allowing children to cement friendships, but giving families the opportunity to come together, share stories and make new friends.
Over the summer we are so proud to have provided our families with such a variety of day trips – Clayart Café, the National Marine Aquarium and Dartmoor Zoo have all been so generous in supporting us in this way. Both physically and emotionally it is not been easy for some of our families to attend, when someone is very ill getting up and ready for the day can be exhausting, but all of the families wanted to get involved and show such passion for the project as it has made a difference to their children. Each trip has provided wonderful experiences that families will remember and hold on to in the future when times are difficult. It has been a pleasure to see our families come together and show support for each other.
I was delighted to see so many families from Stepping Stones enjoying meeting up and being at the zoo. Our family has been along the same journey they are making, which makes it particularly rewarding for us to see the zoo helping to bring these families together. The animals and the park environment are perfect for allowing people to relax and enjoy the present moment.
The children absolutely loved the Zoo – particularly the enrichment tasks with the racoons and they were all in love with the meerkats. One of the boys even gave a speech about the tigers to the whole group, he was really excited and very knowledgeable; the team at the Zoo were fantastic in supporting him doing this. This was the first time I met some of the Stepping Stones families and it was wonderful to see just how much the group means to them. It was lovely to see them having fun and supporting each other, children and adults alike.
Most importantly – here is what the children had to say about their day out!
It was awesome, watching the lions being fed was the best bit of the day. It was super nice having a day out as a family.
It has been a really fun and eventful day and I enjoyed it all
We went around the Zoo with the staff and found out lots of facts! Making food bags for the animals was my best bit of the day. It’s always good to have a day out as a family
The team at Jeremiah’s Journey would like to thank Benjamin Mee and all of the team at Dartmoor Zoo for their kindness and support. For more photos, please check out our Gallery here