In November 2006, PACT was awarded a £50,000 grant from the “Big Lottery Fund” to convert an old barnyard with buildings suitable to be updated to accommodate friendly animals, thus affording a quiet, contained place where people with physical, mental and emotional stress problems can associate and interact with the animals without being exposed to the other volunteers etc..

The Centre opened in May 2008 and includes a cuddle/study room and disabled toilet facilities. It has attracted a considerable amount of interest, as it is the first of its kind in the country.

The Henry Hallam Therapy Centre is a place where people with different needs can be close to the animals but away from the general bustle of the Sanctuary and relax in peace and quiet.

Here at PACT we work with lots of different complex needs schools in east Anglia who visit PACT on a weekly basis. We are able to offer the centre as an opportunity for people to come and work at PACT in an environment they can feel safe in. We have over 20 people per week come and use the therapy centre. Since the founding of PACT animal sanctuary, we have always worked with a variety of volunteers who want to work with animals and develop their skills and simply get great enjoyment from spending time with rescue animals. We are proud of this work and hope to continue the development of this area so we can provide an animal therapy centre to assist in learning and support in our local community.

There are many proven studies that show the benefits of animal interaction. Some of the benefits of animal therapy include reduced blood pressure, depression, increased focus and attention, increased self-esteem and attention, improved fine motor skills, improved social skills, reduced anxiety and can also help with grief, increased trust, empathy and teamwork, and many more. We have seen significant improvement in some of our volunteers who come and work in the therapy centre, the schools have also reported how pleased they are with the connections some of the students have made with the animals and improvement in their social and fine motor skills.

We offer sensory stimulation in our cuddle room and therapy room.  The supervised interaction offers stimulating textures, smells, and sounds, enhances motor development, creating a group environment to further social skills. After spending quality time relaxing with animals, visitors may see benefits such as: lower blood pressure, reduced stress levels, a release of endorphins elevating mood and energy.