Official visitor website for Leicester and Leicestershire

Shortlist symbol Add to shortlist button.

Twycross Zoo needs your vote!

Twycross Zoo has applied for two Community Awards of £25,000 each from OneFamily Foundation in order to expand its inclusive facilities around the zoo site for disabled visitors.

Upgrades will include the installation of an additional disabled toilet and changing space, inclusive play equipment on the children’s playgrounds, and enhancements to the otter enclosure that will benefit wheelchair and buggy users and those with visual impairments. Funding is granted to projects which receive the most online votes by Tuesday 30 June.

Twycross Zoo is a registered charity and receives no government funding, as such it relies solely on ticket revenue, donations and grant-giving organisations to support its work. The zoo welcomes nearly 10,000 visitors a year with special needs, along with their carers, and has applied for a Community Award of £25,000 of funding to install inclusive facilities for its disabled users. This includes a state-of-the art Changing Places toilet and changing facility for children and adults with profound and multiple disabilities who require additional space and equipment to maximise their comfort. The facility has space to accommodate a visitor and two carers with a centrally placed toilet, height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a hoist system to help carers with lifting, privacy screens and non-slip floors. Remaining funds will be used to install inclusive play facilities on the zoo’s existing children’s playgrounds such as wheelchair swings and roundabouts.

The zoo has also applied for an additional Community Award grant of £25,000 to upgrade its otter enclosure to increase the engagement and education value for visitors with special needs or disabilities. If won, the Community Award will be used to increase sensory stimulation with the addition of ground level windows around the exhibit, including the opportunity to see inside the otter holt. A waterfall will be installed running into the otters’ pool to increase their activity and movement across different levels of the enclosure and give visitors more opportunities to watch them. A rockery will replace parts of the wall surrounding the enclosure and the otter information signs and graphics will also be updated to include braille. All of these features will improve the visual, audible and tactile experience for visitors of all ages and are sensitive to the requirements of wheelchairs and buggies.

Twycross Zoo CEO Dr Sharon Redrobe says, “We work very hard to make Twycross Zoo as accessible as possible to all of our visitors. We have recently upgraded the main pathways of the zoo to ensure they are in optimum condition for our wheelchair and buggy users which has received a very positive reaction, but being a charity, many of the specialised inclusive facilities we would love to have exceed our budget. We would urge people to vote for the zoo so that we can provide these additional facilities that are so important to many of our visitors, and gives them the best possible day out.”

How to vote:
To register your vote for Twycross Zoo’s two Community Award applications visit and search for Twycross Zoo under nominated projects. Voting closes on Tuesday 30 June.

Last updated September 2015