Belfast Zoo become the first to receive our Community Champion Award

Belfast Zoo receive the EDS Community Champions Award

Belfast Zoo was built on Cave Hill in the early 70s (and further down the Cave Hill, the old original zoo was established in 1934) so it is a beautiful site but they face challenges in making the zoo an accessible place for all. This hasn’t stopped them doing all they can to make the zoo accessible for everyone.

Last year, one of our volunteer area coordinators, Caitriona, visited Belfast Zoo in her wheelchair and after her visit fed back to the zoo about some improvements which could be made to make access better for people on wheels. Belfast Zoo listened to the feedback, made some adjustments and invited Caitriona back at the beginning of this year to look at the changes they had made. We were so impressed with the zoo’s positive and inclusive attitude to feedback that we have named them as the first recipient of our new ‘Community Champion Awards’ and were thrilled to present this to them in November.

After documenting a difficult visit to the Zoo in November 2020 on her YouTube channel, Caitriona was contacted by the Marketing Director of Belfast Zoo and was invited back free charge to try a number of changes and new facilities they had put in place to make the Zoo more accessible. This time Caitriona had a wonderful experience and was able to see all the animals, especially the zebras.

It is so wonderful that they listened and made the changes, as sadly many places do not. They even gave me a little goody bag with a stuffed zebra as a way of thanking me for pointing out the changes they needed to make. Caitriona, EDS UK volunteer

We were delighted to award Belfast Zoo our new Community Champion Award in November and our Managing Director and Caitriona, visited the zoo to present them with their award. Full details of Caitriona’s experience at the zoo and an interview with Sarah, from Belfast Zoo can be found in the Winter 2021 edition of Fragile Links.

To find our more about our Community Champion Awards, including how to make a nomination, please visit the dedicated area of our website.

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