Why supporting our events is vital to Hopefield’s survival

We couldn’t do what we do at Hopefield without your support.

When you visit Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood, you are not just buying a ticket for a fun day out, but you’re also helping us to raise funds to keep doing the life-saving work we do here in the Essex countryside. Visitor income is essential for us to be able to run the sanctuary, and while every visit makes a difference, it is our events that help to top up our funds throughout the year. We are already down on visitor numbers, animal sponsorship purchases, monthly membership and event attendances, and while we are incredibly fortunate that we had a couple of legacies come our way to help tide us over, we are understandably worried for our future. Please, if you can, come and visit us! Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your neighbours, bring your dogs – but do come and see us!

How much does it cost to run the sanctuary?

To provide the rehabilitation, food, utilities, staff, vet-costs and general running costs for our 600+ rescued animals, we need an eye-watering £2,000 per day. As a charity entirely funded by the goodwill of the public, and with no government assistance, it often feels like a very large mountain to scale. 

Where do your funds come from?

things to do in Essex with kids events

We have a number of ways that we raise money for the sanctuary which include:
















We are also able to save money by having an amazing team of dedicated volunteers, so if you are keen on volunteering with animals in Essex, then do have a look at how you can join us here.

Tell me more about your events and how they help raise funds

Our events are so important to us and are one of the ways we can raise money while providing visitors with a positive experience of an animal sanctuary. If people do not come down and visit us, there will be no sanctuary to visit, that is how reliant we are on you continuing to come and see us. Interest in our events this year seems to be on the wane, and although people are looking at the website at these events, this is not translating to solid sales. We would ask that if you are thinking of coming to see us this year, you please book ahead of time for the event that you’re keen on. This gives us a greater gauge on whether an event will be cost effective for us to run, and it also means you get the best, discounted rates via our early bird sales. 

What events are happening this year?

things to do in essex with kids events

We have something for everyone, and we pride ourselves on being the best ethical place to see animals in Essex and beyond. All events include your entrance into the sanctuary (and we welcome your dogs too):


Pony Morning – 14th July, 18th August, 15th September 2024

Bring your little pony fans along for a wonderful session that includes grooming, pony care, arts ‘n’ crafts, a pony morning t-shirt, lunch and free admission to the sanctuary for the child and accompanying adult. BOOK HERE.

Afternoon Tea – 7th July, 10th August, 8th September 2024

Our decadent afternoon teas are the perfect way to make a visit to Hopefield even more special. BOOK HERE.

Kids Mega Fun Weekend – 20th & 21st July 2024

A foam cannon, bubble pit, inflatables, soft play bus, entertainment and more fun activities than you can shake a stick at, this is the perfect way to kick start your summer of family adventures. BOOK HERE.

Hopefield Summer of Fun – 27th July – 1st September 2024

We will be open all through the six weeks holiday with daily activities to keep the kids busy with. BOOK HERE.

Exotic Animal Weekend – 3rd & 4th August and 5th & 6th October 2024

When we were landed with restrictions on being able to have the animals we have rescued from the exotic pet trade on public display, it really affected life here at Hopefield. We are now only allowed to throw ALL the doors open at the sanctuary for six dates per year, and the next weekend is coming up in August. BOOK HERE.

Family Fun Weekend – 24th, 25th & 26th August 2024

Funfair rides, bungee trampolines, mega inflatables, entertainment, performances, BBQ and more is just a snippet of what you can expect at this bank holiday weekend extravaganza! BOOK HERE.

Dog First Aid Training – 14th September 2024

Award winning, interactive dog first aid course which covers a multitude of emergency situations so you know what to do if your dog should ever need life-saving help. BOOK HERE.

Firewalk – 20th September 2024

After a successful Fire Walk last year, we’re back for round 2 so if you’re brave enough to conquer the flames then this one’s for you! Minimum age for this one is 12. BOOK HERE.

Novelty Dog Show – 22nd September 2024

Enter your dog into categories such as ‘most handsome,’ ‘prettiest,’ ‘waggiest tail,’ ‘best rescue’ and more at our annual Dog Show! We’ll also be hosting dog afternoon teas (pre-bookings only), and popping on entertainment for the whole family. BOOK HERE.


We’ll also be having special events for Halloween and Christmas, more details on those later in the year.


We consider ourselves one of the best things to do in Essex with kids and because we love setting good foundations for the younger generation when it comes to animal welfare, we also try and keep our prices affordable so that you can come and see us as much as possible. Please do carry on being awesome and help us reach new people too – shares on socials and word-of-mouth are really important for us. 


See you all soon, hopefully. 



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