A POPULAR zoo has pledged to support a charity which helps babies and children.

Drusillas Park in Alfriston is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for Brighton-based Rockinghorse throughout 2018.

Rockinghorse aims to improve the lives of sick youngsters across Sussex.

It is the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.

Its work includes raising money for life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment while ensuring that children are treated in an environment better suited to their needs.

Rockinghorse also supports the Trevor Mann baby unit at the neighbouring Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Other beneficiaries include the special care baby unit at Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath and other paediatric services and respite centres throughout Sussex.

Rockinghorse chief executive Ryan Heal said: “As you can imagine, we’re thrilled to be working with Drusillas this year as their charity partner.

“Drusillas is a Sussex institution and we are very excited about sharing the features of the partnership with young patients of the Royal Alex and other children’s services and centres.

“It’s a truly wonderful start to 2018.”

A range of events have been planned for the year-long partnership.

They include a group visit to Drusillas, a train ride and a trip around the park’s newest attraction, Go Safari.

Rockinghorse will have an ongoing presence at the park.

Drusillas’ red panda Mulan will also be helping to raise funds.

Every time Mulan is adopted, 20 per cent of all the proceeds will be donated to Rockinghorse.

Drusillas’ managing director Christine Smith said: “As Drusillas Park is enjoyed by so many young families, it is very important to us to support a charity that provides such amazing care for children.

“We are very proud to be partnering with Rockinghorse and we are looking forward to working closely with them over the course of the year.”