Volunteering with WRAS

Thank you for taking the time look at volunteering with WRAS.  All volunteering roles are focused around our Casualty Care Centre which is based on the A22 at Whitesmith, which is between Hailsham, Uckfield and Lewes.

Below is all the information you need to know about volunteer, including where we are, how to get to us, and the various roles which are available.




You will need a vehicle to get you to our centre or alternatively you can catch the No. 54 bus which runs along the A22 from Uckfield to Eastbourne. Please be aware that buses do not run on a Sunday to our Centre.

Timetable: 54 Bus Timetable May 2016

To check for the latest timetable please visit the Stagecoach website by clicking here.

To help plan your journey by public transport please go to East Sussex County Council's journey planner site by clicking here.

Feed and clean shift volunteer

Most volunteers will begin by joining a feed and clean shift before expanding to other roles. Feed and clean shift volunteers are expected to commit to at least one shift a week, on the same day each week. Morning shifts start between 8 and 9am whilst evening shifts start at 5pm. Both shifts may last up to 3 or 4 hours depending on the number of casualties at the centre at the time. Within your role as a part of the feed and clean shift you will be expected to feed and clean the cages of casualties in care, handle wildlife casualties, including birds and mammals - training will be provided on how to do this correctly - and undertake basic cleaning including sweeping and mopping. You must be fairly mobile as some cages are fairly low to the floor so will require kneeling and bending down to reach.

Please remember that unlike domestic animals, wildlife will be frightened of humans, and therefore we need to keep our contact with them down to a minimum, keep noise and disturbance low, and handle them as little as possible.

Commitment is very important as the casualties rely on the volunteers to feed and clean them twice a day, every day, failure to turn up could jeopardise this which would be an offense under the Animal Welfare Act.

Rescue volunteer

Rescue volunteers are responsible for the collection of wildlife casualties from the wild and their transportation to the casualty care centre. In some cases the animals may already be contained, in other circumstances the rescuer is responsible for catching the casualty and restraining them ready for transportation, this can require a certain amount of rational thinking and problem solving.

New rescuers will be paired with a long standing rescuer to enable them to get some training in different aspects of rescue work including correct handling and transportation, safety equipment and to gain some general experience before undertaking rescue work alone. WRAS has rescue volunteers which work 10am-6pm or 6pm-10pm based at the casualty care centre. Volunteers will need to be able to commit to the same shift and day each week.

Rescuers need a full driving licence. Our ambulances are fully insured for anyone over 25 to drive (this is subject to change). Those under 25 would be required to use their own vehicles if they wish to be on call, but they would be restricted to the less technical rescues unless they accompany an experienced rescuer who then drives a WRAS Ambulance.

Orphan rearing team

Every year we get calls regarding hundreds of sick, injured, orphaned or abandoned baby birds. These birds require feeding from very early in the morning until late at night, sometimes as often as every 15 minutes!
In order to care for these babies, we require a team of reliable and committed volunteers. The role will involve feeding and cleaning a variety of young bird species, anything from tiny robins, to magpies and even tawny owls. You will also need to be physically fit as during the height of the season, this work can be constant. Despite the hard work, it is also extremely rewarding, and allows you to get up close to species that you may not normally see (although please be aware that it is a hands off role due to the aim to release them back in to the wild).

No previous experience is required as full training will be given, however you will need to be available between roughly April - September (although holidays are of course allowed!).

Volunteers are expected to commit to one regular shift per week, working either 7am till 10am, 10am till 2pm, 2pm till 6pm or 6pm till 10pm.

We are especially in need of weekend help.

If you are interested then please contact Lindsay via email: lindsay@eastsussexwras.org.uk

Working in WRAS's Reception.

WRAS takes on volunteers to working in its new Reception area which was created in 2015. The role primarily involves answering the phone, entering information onto WRAS's Database and dealing with members of the public who turn up WRAS's Casualty Centre.

We are looking for volunteers who will togethger form cover between 9am and 6pm seven days a week. We need people to be able to do one or more shifts a week ideally 9am (or as soon after as possible) till 1:45pm,  1:15pm till 6pm, or all day, stick to the same shift and hours each week and people who are able to make a long term commitment, are good at talking on the phone and can use a computer. Training will be given on how to use WRAS's Database and how to deal with the incoming calls.

Work Experience

We regularly have students from local schools and colleges complete their work placements with us. For more information please visit the 'Educational Resources' section of the website by clicking here.

What to consider before you Volunteer:

Under the Animal Welfare Act we have a legal responsibility to ensure that the casualties in our care are looked are properly.  It is therefore important that volunteers are commited to their role and take the shared responsibility seriously.

It is advised that people have an up-to-date tetenus injection or booster. Although we don't force people to be vaccinated, it is the volunteers responsibility to ensure they are covered, stay covered or take responsibility for their health and any resulting problems as a result of not being covered by tetenus vaccination.

Please think about the following issues before you volunteer, if you wish to discuss any of these issue please feel free to raise your concerns below.

Do you have any health and mobility issues and whether the voluntary role is suitable.
Are you about to go on holiday?
Are you about to stay in hospital, have an operation, or have a baby?
Are you scared of any animals or birds?
Are you about to start a job which will cause you problems committing to you shift?
Are you about to move home and will you be able to continue volunteering as a result?

Work Placements/Experiences:

If you are interested in a Work Placement or Work Experience please see click here for more information.

Volunteer Guidelines Document:

For more detailed information about our working practices, Health & Safety,  Code of Conduct, Volunteer Agreement and our Equal Opportunities Policy please download our Volunteer Guidelines Document by clicking on the link below.

New Volunteer Guidelines Document 2017

 Apply to be a volunteer:

If you are interested in volunteering for us, please send an e-mail to Kathy and Chris stating what role you are interested in and your availability.

Please e-mail kathy@eastsussexwras.org.uk.

If you are able to print out and fill in this form please email it to Kathy  or bring it with you to your induction, thank you.


Please be aware that Kathy is also a volunteer and does not work full time for out charity so replies can take a couple of weeks especially during the busy spring and summer seasons.  Applications to volunteer from outside of East Sussex will not be considered.

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