A university graduate is spearheading a campaign to raise funds to help build a £500,000 animal rescue shelter in north east Wales.
Kim Johnson, a former Animal Studies student at Wrexham Glyndwr University, wants to erect the facility caring for unwanted and lost pets.
Supported by staff and students at the University’s Northop site and animal organisations in the region, Kim has founded a new charity – WILDA – and wants to provide work placements for students and volunteers, as well as offering pet therapy, an activity centre and educational workshops.
The mum-of-one from Minydd Isa has championed the Flintshire campus since graduating and even set up a library there in past months.
Joined by students Sarah Hughes and Danielle Henson her first target is to garner £5,000 so they can register WILDA before drawing-up proposals and building momentum for the project.
“It’s going to take time but our aim is to build the shelter in the Mold or Northop area so it becomes a safe haven for animals and can be used by the University and rescue organisations,” said Kim.
“We have events in the pipeline, including an arts and crafts day for children and a music night, so we hope to get the community behind us.”
She added: “The University was so helpful to me, especially the team at Northop; I really want to give something back.
“Caring for animals is my biggest passion so there are many reasons for me doing this, and the area does need a new animal facility.”
Originally from Heswall, Kim discovered she was dyslexic during the second year of her degree and was given study skills support to help her achieve the qualification.
Her love of animals and desire to support the University is what spurred her on.
“We are putting a five-year plan in place because this could be something of a local attraction as well as an educational and care centre,” added Kim, who also has a PGCE from Wrexham Glyndwr.
“North Clwyd Animal Rescue and other organisations are behind us and want to make this happen – there is a real desire out there and we want to capitalise on that.
“I received so much support from the team at Northop, as have so many other students over the years, that I really want to give something back. I could not have got through university without their guidance and understanding.”