Wolverhampton animal therapy organisation awarded £45,720 Severn Trent grant 

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Severn Trent’s Community Fund has awarded £45,720 to animal therapy organisation, HugglePets in the Community, to create an educational and wellbeing space for young children with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Based in Wolverhampton, HugglePets in the Community offers a range of animal therapy focused work for local residents of all ages. The not-for-profit organisation supports and works alongside individuals and groups to improve mental health, combat loneliness, challenge behavioural issues and promote psychological wellbeing.  

The grant from Severn Trent will allow the organisation to offer more animal therapy sessions and fund the renovation of a new pond and wildlife area. 

The new space will help to teach people about water usage including the water cycle, growing their own food and how animals and aquatics have an impact on the environment and can improve mental wellbeing. 

As part of its existing work within the community and with schools across the Black Country, HugglePets in the Community also provide sessions on the importance of recycling water and growing food, as well as offering work experience and volunteering opportunities.   

Mike Dixon, Chair of the Board for HugglePetsCIC, said: “Our sessions help children as well as adults understand their own mental wellbeing, build confidence and improve self-esteem, and by incorporating animals we aim to break down the stigma of utilising therapy.  

“We know the wonderful impact animals and aquatics can have on wellbeing so it’s wonderful that Severn Trent has backed the vital work we are doing through this grant– we’re very grateful.” 

Natalie Cunningham, Severn Trent Community Fund Officer, said: “Making a positive difference to the local community we live and work in is at the heart of everything we do at Severn Trent, and it’s wonderful to see the how HugglePets in the Community is looking to introduce water and aquatics into their life-changing activities and therapies. 

“We hope the new space at their incredible activity centre will have a great impact on many people in the local community.” 

Severn Trent’s Community Fund was created for community groups and projects that aim to improve community wellbeing:  

• People: Projects that help people to lead a healthier life and gain new skills. 

• Places: Projects that help to create better places to live in and use. 

• Environment: Projects that will help look after our natural environment. 

If, like HugglePets in the Community, you’re part of a community group or project that improves community wellbeing, and would like to apply for a grant, please visit stwater.co.uk/communityfund