Beastly boys ... and girls

Jack Emerywith Brian the giant snail from Scales and Tails at the Lisa Dixon Centre Halloween funday.

Jack Emerywith Brian the giant snail from Scales and Tails at the Lisa Dixon Centre Halloween funday.

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FURRY and frightening beasts gave a Halloween celebration a creepy twist.

The Lisa Dixon Centre, in Haswell, welcomed Scales and Tails Animal Encounters to the party it held for children and its members with learning disabilities.

Vikki Gooding with Billy the Bearded Dragon, Galaxy the Albino Hedgehog and Sherman the Tortoise from Scales  and Tails, and 6 year old Natalie Coates at the Lisa Dixon Centre Halloween funday.

Vikki Gooding with Billy the Bearded Dragon, Galaxy the Albino Hedgehog and Sherman the Tortoise from Scales and Tails, and 6 year old Natalie Coates at the Lisa Dixon Centre Halloween funday.

Species shown included a pigmy hedgehog, a bell frog, bearded dragons, a tarantula, a whiptail scorpion, cockroaches and a giant snail.

Kirsty Crow, volunteer events and engagement officer with the Mencap venue, said: “The reactions from them were fab.

“We’ve never had anything like this before and we’ve had some really good feedback from them.”

Snails and Tails has been set up by Vikki Goodings, 39, from Murton, with the help of husband Dale, 43, who runs East Coast Electricals, and their daughter Holly, 13, a pupil at St Leonard’s in Durham.

She decided to launch the education sessions to pursue her love of animals.

Vikki is also working with her sister Sarah Kharko, 32, from Seaham, a teaching assistant at Sunderland High School who runs theatre group Dramatique.

They plan to run drama games and animal handling sessions together. 

More information can be found at www.scalesntailsanimalencounters.co.uk.