Busy rescuers appeal for funds for the busy Spring and Summer season

Sussex’s leading wildlife ambulance service WRAS is approaching its very busy spring and summer season. Already this year WRAS rescuers have been called out to over 500 incidents and answered over 100 advisory calls too. "This is higher than last year and we have dealt with almost 200 more incidents than this time last year" said founder Trevor Weeks.

By the end of March 2007 WRAS had dealt with just under 300 incidents but this year it is over 500 a massive increase on last year.

"This increase worries me as our expenses are increasing as a result. We need as many people as possible to help fund our cause before we get too far into the busy spring and summer season or we will find it hard to survive. Currently our volunteers are doing a grand job looking at fundraising and we are applying for grants and sponsorship but we need people to start standing orders, make donations and organise fundraising events, please help," said Trevor.

Julie Mitchell from Eastbourne called on WRAS over the weekend after finding a poorly lactating fox in her garden, "WRAS rescuers Tony and Arron were on site within 20 minutes. They were very professional and I can’t believe they are volunteers! I am amazed at the dedicated work they do and I will certainly be donating from now on. Its never nice coming across a casualty and it was such a relief to find WRAS and that they responded so quickly."

WRAS was called to rescue a gull trapped in Newhaven Swingbridge’s mechanism at the weekend by Carl Davenport of LCT Support Service at Newhaven Port. "This gull would have been crushed to death if WRAS rescuers had not responded quickly and helped free this bird. They do a brilliant job and I was surprised at how quickly they responded, normally at weekends you can’t get hold of anyone but WRAS were easy to contact and dealt with the incident straight away" said Carl.

"WRAS has a really good reputation across East Sussex and with more and more volunteers coming on board helping with rescues and care work the number of incidents we can attend has increased and as people know we will help as much as possible where we can the number of people calling us has increased," said Sue Wilkinson, WRAS’s Chairperson.

"It amazes me how many times people call and say no-one else is interested and they won’t help" said Trevor, " people know we normally act quickly and we have rescuers on site within 30 minutes of receiving most emergency calls."

The average cost of being on call and responding to a casualty is £65. Although people see us attend the rescue they don’t see the hours of work and money being spent on caring and treating for these casualties. WRAS’s vets bills are over £10,000 every year. With the huge fuel price increases the last year WRAS is now paying out over £12,000 in fuel and maintenance for the four veterinary ambulances which it runs. The rescue line and ambulance mobiles cost over £4,000 each year. A road casualty deer on the A22 near Uckfield a few weeks ago took 8 hours in care and took over £300 in expenses. An injured badger suffering from territorial bite wounds is currently in care and about to be releases, has cost WRAS over £200 in expenses. With the busy spring and summer season coming up WRAS wants to make sure it can financially afford to help all these animals so is appeal for help.

"We have a fundraising group which is starting to organise events or attending other events like Eastbourne Carnival etc and we also have a team looking at grant applications. We have just received £1,000 from Eastbourne Borough Council. We are awaiting news from various other local councils too. It is easy to apply for grants for major expense but the day to day running costs are harder so we need your help in doing this." said Trevor, " it would be really good if a company could sponsor the expenses of keeping our ambulances on the road, our veterinary bill or helping to pay our phone bill. There are plenty of opportunities for fundraising and promotional work for companies and their staff to help out."

East Sussex WRAS is looking for volunteers to help join the fundraising group to look at fundraising efforts as well as people to take out standing orders with the charity which then helps the charity plan for the future. Leaving money to the charity in your will is also another valuable way to helping too.

WRAS already has minor ways of helping like the everyclick.com internet search engine which raises money for charity, a new scheme for recycling mobile phones with Envirocharties and shopping online with easyfundraising.org.uk. All details of these fundraising schemes can be found on our Fundraising page.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958 (private)

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