Trevor receives the BBC Sussex and Surrey Community Heroes Award for Animal Welfare

East Sussex WRAS founder Trevor Weeks MBE was nominated for and won the Animal Welfare Award in the BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey Community Heroes Awards at Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, on Thursday 13th December 2012.

Almost two months since receiving his MBE Trevor Weeks attended the prestigious awards after being nominated in the first ever Animal Welfare Award run by the BBC local radio. Virginia McKenna presented the Animal Welfare Award to Trevor towards the end of the evening. Virginia McKenna is best remembered for her 1966 role as Joy Adamson in the true-life film Born Free for which she received a nomination for a Golden Globe. Bill Travers, her real life husband, co-starred with her, portraying conservationist George Adamson, and the experience led them to become active supporters for wild animal rights and the protection of their natural habitat. Virginia McKenna appeared in An Elephant Called Slowly, a travelogue of what it was like years ago in Kenya. The film features her close friend conservationist George Adamson and also elephants Eleanor (brought up by conservationist Daphne Sheldrick) and young Pole Pole. The subsequent premature death of Pole Pole in London Zoo lead to Virginia McKenna and her husband launching the Zoo Check Campaign in 1984 and to establishing the "Born Free Foundation" in 1991.

Before reading out the nominations for the Animal Welfare Award she told everyone "I have found this evening a most inspirational occasion. We are absolutely bombarded with bad news, sad news, shocking news and in this room tonight, is nothing but hope and positive thought".

Virginia then read out the nominations which included dedicated volunteer Shirley Miller who has helped both Rogers Wildlife Rescue and East Sussex WRAS over the past 15 years or more, before announcing WRAS's Trevor Weeks as the winner.

Trevor told a crowded round "There are millions of wildlife animals every year who have to be euthanized because there just aren't enough wildlife organisation capable of dealing with the workload of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. East Sussex is luckier than most counties in having people like Shirley Miller [also nominated for and present at the awards] working with Rogers Wildlife Rescue, Folly Wildlife Rescue, WRAS and the RSPCA centre at Hastings who are able to take in wildlife, but it still isn't enough. There is a chronic shortage of funds available for this type of work in the UK. I am so pleased that BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey have seen the need to have a dedicated award for Animal Welfare."

During the awards Trevor was juggling answering the charities rescue phone line. The latter half of the evening saw two road casualty owls and a road casualty fox in need of help, which ambulances responded to swiftly.

Virginia McKenna told Trevor "I was so pleased for you, and you must send me more information about the work you do and I would love to come and visit at some point."

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks MBE - East Sussex WRAS: 01825 873003

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