Saturday 25 January 2014 was a pretty significant day for WWF-UK. Having moved into our fantastic Living Planet Centre back in October 2013, we finally marked the public opening of the WWF Experience!
Let me take a few steps back to explain. The idea of the Living Planet Centre was born when long standing supporter the Rufford Foundation offered us £5 million and posed us a challenge – “How can you maximise this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put WWF on the map?” The idea was not just to create a new office, but a visitor centre that would attract current and future members, and provide an interactive experience for families and school parties. The events of Saturday 25 January really felt like we had achieved that mission.
For this special event we opened our doors to the general public from 1-4pm. The treasure hunt quizzes were ready, the WWF Experience switched on and waiting to be explored; the face painters poised with their black and white paint; and in our learning zone, the pens, scissors and glue were ready to create panda masks, finger puppets and bags.
We also had the truly inspiring speech made by Sir David Attenborough at our official building opening back in November showing in our fantastic auditorium.
We were ready and excited to be open – but this was the unknown for us, would there be any visitors? We were not disappointed by the enthusiasm of the people of Woking and beyond. We welcomed over 500 people through our doors during the afternoon, many of which left feeling – or at least looking – more like pandas than when they arrived – and we don’t just mean the kids! Everyone on the team had a great day, and really enjoyed sharing our building with our visitors.
We’re working on plans for more special events, so keep an eye on our website for details.
The WWF Experience at the Living Planet Centre is now open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, excluding bank holidays.
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