A local animal charity has won a national award for its work helping sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) picked up the award at the first ITV1 British Animal Honours Awards which was hosted by Paul O'Grady.
TV presenter Kate Garraway presented the award to four member of East Sussex WRAS, their founder Trevor Weeks MBE, Assistant Managers Kate Cuddis and Lindsay Redfern and WRAS's Volunteer Co-ordinator Kathy Martyn. In the audience were a number of WRAS's volunteers too.
"We were amazed to receive this national award, when you look at all the organisations and individuals across the country who are working tirelessly to help animals I am amazed that we won" said Trevor Weeks.
East Sussex WRAS was founded in 1996 as a voluntary group but founder Trevor Weeks has been undertaking wildlife rescue work since 1985. The group has grown from a one-man-band to a registered charity with four veterinary ambulances and a Casualty Care Centre which is capable of holding up to 125 casualties at a time. The charity now has about 70 volunteers but Trevor Weeks and Kate Cuddis are paid part time to work on minimum wage for 30 hours a week but in reality they work up to 90 hours on a regular basis because of their dedication to the wildlife.
Every year WRAS receives over 2,500 calls for help and advice, and where possible supports people at the scene on incidents to start the first aid process as quickly as possible.
"It is amazing that we have achieved this award, and it is all thanks to our supporters and volunteers, they have made the organisation what it is today. People tend to focus on me, when this charity would not exist without all our hardworking volunteers and the funding provided by our fantastic supporter" said Trevor, "this award means more to me than the MBE I received last year as it is for the charity as a whole and is recognition that our volunteers and supporters are a fabulous bunch of people who genuinely care about our local wildlife."
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The awards programme was broadcast on Thursday 18 April 2013 starting at 8pm on ITV1.