Wolverhampton based community interest company, HugglePets in the Community has successfully reached its £100,000 target to build the City’s first Community Aquarium & Sensory Activity Centre.

The campaign, launched on 11 April, has seen donations from the local community, customers of HugglePets retail store, local and national businesses to help reach the monumental target.

Donations have been received from companies including, the City of Wolverhampton Council, eBay, Hagen Ltd, Aquascape Ltd and ParcelHub.

The funds will build the Community Aquarium & Sensory Activity Centre to help benefit children and adults within the local community who live with poor mental health, autism, Alzheimers, stress, anxiety, depression and sensory disabilities.

The new Community Aquarium will hold over one hundred tanks and will run alongside a brand-new Sensory Activity Centre which will run classes for children of all abilities to learn about animal welfare and offer animal-assisted therapy sessions to children and adults. The Community Aquarium & Sensory Activity Centre will be built with advanced technology to ensure inclusivity for all, including interactive information boards.

 HugglePets in the Community has already hosted a series of successful community events including “Tea with a Twist” - an initiative aimed to eradicate loneliness and isolation via dedicated tea mornings which also involve animal handling, and ‘Animal Welfare and Handling’ Sessions to aid children with social integration and communication.

Mike Dixon, Director HugglePets in the Community, commented

“We knew this was going to be a mammoth project to reach our goal of £100,000 to build the City’s first Community Sensory Aquarium and Activity Centre. We are so grateful for all the support we have received from both members of the public, local businesses and the HugglePets retail store partners.

We aspired to make a difference in our community, and now we have the chance to do just that. The build of theCommunity Aquarium & Sensory Activity Centre will start within the next few weeks, to be open by the end of the year. I’d personally like to take this chance to thank everyone involved in the project, and everyone at HugglePets in the Community is looking forward to creating more sessions for the community to get involved with”.

The Community Aquarium & Sensory Activity Centre aims to be completed by Winter 2019.