East Sussex WRAS has reached the finals of the 2017 Celebration of Sussex Life Awards to be held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on 28 September.
WRAS is one of three finalists in the Service to the Community Award.
So far calls in 2017 are up 19% on this time 2016.
In a statement Trevor Week said...
"It is common for people to miss the value to the community of our charity. Often people think we are just about helping animals and therefore we don't benefit society. What they don't see is the anxiety and distress which finding a sick or injured animal can cause people. When they don't drive, are disabled, are house bound, have a phobia of birds or animals, have mental health issues, or learning disabilities or even the fact that the casualty is dangerous for them to handle, can cause extreme stress, panic, and frequently reduce people to tears out of frustration that they can't help and have no choice but to watch something suffer. Our ambulance service is there to help where we can, and we help thousands of people every year.
When I lost my mum to cancer in 1993 it hit me hard, and my voluntary work has been my one stable and reliable aspect of my life. I have learned how valuable voluntary work is not just for those who we help but for ourselves. To this end, I have always been keen to have as many volunteers working with us as possible and now have about 140 volunteers in total. I know like myself some of these people use WRAS as a "get-a-way" and to switch off from life's stresses.
Although there are several animal welfare and rescue groups in East Sussex, at night it is generally only WRAS and the National RSPCA in the county who are there to help. Meaning that Chris, Katie, Kathy and I are routinely working over 100 hours a week. Chris, Katie and I are full-time staff working on just minimum wage for 34 hours a week. We do more on a voluntary basis. As employees of WRAS Chris, Katie and I have only taken 3 days holiday each in the last 12 months - nobody is stopping us from taking holiday but we are just very busy and don't want let anyone down.
We do a lot of educational work and have an educational trailer and recently we worked with Eastbourne Borough Council on undertaking some educational events with some local schools and recently visited Alfriston Primary School and Forest Row Primary School too.
Our volunteers and staff and extremely valuable and I am so proud of them all for what they have helped turn what was just me doing my own thing into what it is now, 32 years later, a Veterinary Hospital with three full-time members of staff, 5 veterinary ambulances and dealing with over 2800 casualties a year.
This charity is far bigger than me now, the volunteers and staff deserve this award for putting themselves out so much. I am so proud of them all."
To see the full list of awards and finalists please visit the Sussex Life website clicking here.