Go behind closed doors at Colchester Zoo’s live fundraising event

A live fundraising event for Colchester Zoo, called Bringing The Zoo to You, is being organised to help raise vital funds...

A live fundraising event for Colchester Zoo, called Bringing The Zoo to You, is being organised to help raise vital funds during lockdown. Picture: EJS PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: EJS PHOTOGRAPHY

Colchester Zoo is bringing the animals to you for a live Facebook fundraiser to help care for its 200 species and save its future.

A live fundraising event for Colchester Zoo, called Bringing The Zoo to You, is being organised to help raise vital funds...

A live fundraising event for Colchester Zoo, called Bringing The Zoo to You, is being organised to help raise vital funds during lockdown. Picture: DEADLINE COMMUNICATIONS - Credit: DEADLINE COMMUNICATIONS

Deadline Communications is working with Colchester Zoo to help raise awareness of the zoo’s plight via a live fundraiser event on Saturday, November 28 at 7pm on the zoo’s Facebook page.

The live event will take you behind closed doors to discover what life has been like for the animals during lockdown, raising much needed funds to help towards the zoo’s future.

MORE: Cute mandrill monkey born at Colchester ZooKeepers will answer questions sent in by children around the UK – which can still be submitted via Colchester Zoo’s Facebook page – and there will be some musical and comedy acts to bring smiles to your faces.

The event will be hosted by actor and singer Lee Mead, who will be feeding animals and meeting some of the new arrivals, as well as finding out about how the conservation work has been impacted by the zoo’s closure.

A baby mandrill monkey has been born at Colchester Zoo. Picture: COLCHESTER ZOO

A baby mandrill monkey has been born at Colchester Zoo. Picture: COLCHESTER ZOO - Credit: COLCHESTER ZOO

There will also be games and chit-chat with radio hosts Ross McGrane and John Oakes and entertainment from the likes of the X Factor’s Matt Linnen, Britain’s Got Talent’s Graeme Mathews and online sensation ‘Red’, as well as messages from an array of friends of the zoo.

The zoo – which is set in over 60 acres and cares for more than 200 species – has done its utmost to cut costs wherever possible during the lockdown, but without visitors these savings are being swallowed by the day-to-day running costs.

The zoo needs about £20,000 per day, which is over half a million pounds a month, just to keep operating. With most of this income coming from ticket sales and visitor spending, the closure represents a very real threat – and that’s why Deadline Communications has teamed up to help the zoo in any way they can.

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The event will last for two hours and will combine chat, music, comedy, fascinating facts, magic, and of course plenty of animal news.

Whilst the programme will be free to view via Facebook, the zoo hopes to prompt as many voluntary donations as possible to its emergency operating fund.

The Deadline team, along with all the presenters, music and variety acts are providing their creativity completely free of charge, so that all money raised goes directly to the zoo to help care for its animals. A GoFundMe page has been set up so that donations made via the event can be monitored live.

The event’s director and producer, Simon J Frith of Essex-based Deadline Communications said: “We made a couple of films pro-bono for Colchester Zoo back in June to help them bounce back after the first lockdown, so when we heard they would be closing again we just had to do

something to help.

“We felt that an event like this is very different and therefore might grab some vitally important national attention. The team we’ve assembled (both in front of and behind the cameras) have all experienced varying degrees of loss this year, and we’re all united in our belief that the innocent animals need our help.

“It would be terrible if it closed - all other zoos in the UK are in a similar position, and they need our help now more than ever before so that they can continue to provide the highest level of welfare to the animals they care for.”

Mel Dench, business development manager at Colchester Zoo, added: “When Deadline Communications reached out to us to offer help in raising awareness and funds for Colchester Zoo we were overwhelmed with the proposal to produce an online programme which involved a number of special guests.

“After working with Simon and the team earlier in the year we were delighted to be able to work with them again. We’re very excited to be able to bring the zoo to the homes of all of our supporters and people from afar to raise awareness of the struggles we have faced this year, updates on the animals and a sense of great community spirit! We hope that this programme will bring smiles to people’s faces.

“We would like to thank everyone involved in producing the programme, everyone who has donated their time and talent to help Colchester Zoo to which we are truly grateful!”

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