Community access scheme hands out subsidised tickets to London Zoo to charities in Camden and Westminster

PUBLISHED: 11:41 28 November 2019

Some 1500 tickets have already been allocated under the Community access scheme at London  Zoo in Regent's Park

Some 1500 tickets have already been allocated under the Community access scheme at London Zoo in Regent's Park

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ZSL's Fundraising Director explains how local charities and community groups working with low income families, the elderly and disabled can apply for 100,000 tickets

Some 1500 tickets have already been allocated under London  Zoo's  Community Access SchemeSome 1500 tickets have already been allocated under London Zoo's Community Access Scheme

Bringing people and wildlife closer together is a key pillar of ZSL's work and all zoos have a vital role to play in fostering this important connection. There's no denying the health benefits that nature provides - for both our mental and physical wellbeing.

We believe everybody should be able to experience the unique opportunities zoos offer to learn about the natural world.

Which is why London Zoo has pledged 100,000 subsidised tickets to local charities, volunteer groups and community groups, so they can come face-to-face with our 19,000 resident animals.

Through focus groups and events with local communities, we've learnt much about how to better support people visiting our Zoo. From understanding how to aid people with assistance dogs while maintaining our high standards of animal welfare, to installing Changing Places toilets on-site - we've already made some really big improvements.

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We also discovered several under-represented groups who currently feel unable to come to the Zoo for a variety of reasons, and we want to change that through our community access scheme.

So, from now until 2023, we're inviting charities, community-interest companies and groups working with older people, people with disabilities and low income families in Camden and Westminster to apply for tickets through our Community Access Scheme.

While we recognise that we are a Zoo made up of many historic buildings which place challenges on accessibility, we want to lead by example by looking at ways to continually improve - making sure a day out at the Regent's Park zoo is accessible to everyone.

We are looking forward to bringing even more people closer to wildlife to learn more about the amazing species that share our planet. Since opening the applications we've already allocated more than 1,500 tickets across our community.

Thanks to £4.5m funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the community access scheme is being delivered in conjunction with the iconic Grade II* listed Snowdon Aviary restoration project that will put ZSL London Zoo at the heart of the community, playing a unique role in bridging the growing divide between people and nature.

Working together we can all make a difference - to find out how to support ZSL and learn more about projects such as the community access scheme visit zsl.org.

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