Virtual challenge fundraiser for Paignton Zoo

Zoo fundraiser Evie Evans

Zoo fundraiser Evie Evans - Credit: Archant

Youngsters across South Devon have come up with so many innovative, ingenious ideas to help support Paignton Zoo through the current crisis.

Our latest hero is nine-year-old Evie Evans from Newton Abbot, who combined her love of sport with a quest to raise funds for the zoo by taking part in the Devon Virtual Games Challenge to run 40 miles.

Evie, a pupil at Blackpool Primary School, heard about the difficulties at Paignton Zoo and was worried about the animals, prompting her 40-mile challenge.

'Evie has been missing her sport so much and she was delighted to take part in the Devon Virtual Games,' said mum Trina. 'My sister Claire works at Paignton Zoo, we love going to the zoo and that took us to setting up the page on Virgin Money Giving.

'Evie has already managed to raise more than £250 and the page is still open for donations. We have been out for the runs with Evie, recording the miles covered and then you submit it online. Evie will then receive a certificate and medal when she goes back to school after the summer.

'It was a great way of keeping active through the lockdown period and the zoo was a natural choice for her to support. We have always loved visiting Paignton Zoo and we kept reading about the possibility of closure.

'Evie loves the animals and to read that the zoo might struggle to feed them was more than enough motivation to get involved with the challenge. There are loads of worthy charities to support but the zoo seemed perfect for Evie.

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'The page is still live and we are very grateful for everyone for their support.'

To donate to Evie, visit and search for Trina Gilderthorp: Running 40 miles for Paignton Zoo.

• Tell the Torbay Weekly about your efforts to help support the zoo. Email