Casualty Care Centre
Wildlife casualties can find veterinary centres very stressful due to the noise from cats, dogs, parrots, and human activity slowing down their recovery. WRAS decided it needed to help improve the situation by setting up its own hospital. Despite operating several small units using sheds it was not until 2010 that WRAS managed to launch its current hospital. WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre, based on the A22 between Hailsham and Uckfield. Over the next five years the charity slowly expanded and improved the facilities which is now able to take in around 300 casualties at any one time, although this does depend on the range of species in care at the time. The hospital has a treatment room, three hospital rooms, an indoor room divided into four indoor pens and aviaries, a prep room, volunteer rest area, orphan rearing area, education room, store and cold room for acclimatising animals like hedgehogs before moving them outside. WRAS has two registered vets and the centre is also registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
WRAS covers a large area of East Sussex and works with 11 different veterinary practices. These vehicles move around but are normally based either at the charities centre at Whitesmith and out of hours at Uckfield, Eastbourne and Polegate. The charity relies on volunteers to operate these ambulances and at night time it tries to keep two of these vans available. The ambulances carry a variety of equipment, from ladders, various nets, stretchers, first aid kits, dog graspers, swan hooks, and much more. WRAS ambulances have been involved in numerous rescues including helping to deal with a seal trapped in a nuclear power station, an albino deer with its antlers caught in a rope swing, a badger stuck in a disused swimming pool, a fox trapped in a drain, a bird caught up on a chimney, birds flying round inside a house, run over hedgehogs and much more.
WRAS also has a number of sites across the county where it does the outside rehabilitation of casualties. These include aviaries and pens of various sizes at Burgess Hill, Uckfield, Lewes, Eastbourne and Lower Dicker.
A number of WRAS’s volunteers, also help with the rehabilitation and over wintering of hedgehogs in runs and hutches in their gardens at home.
Award winning service
Trevor Weeks was recognised for his work helping wildlife in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2012, when he was awarded the MBE. The work undertaken by WRAS has also been recognised by the International Fund for Animal Welfare Animal Action Awards 2010 at a presentation at the House of Lords, the BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey Community Heroes Animal Welfare Award 2012 and the ITV1 British Animal Honours Awards 2013 for the local animal charity of the year. WRAS was also awarded a Wealden Heroes Award my local Wealden MP Nus Ghani in December 2021 after a majorly busy season of casualties throughout the Covid pandemic.
On average it costs WRAS £85 to be on call for and respond to a call-out. The vans, the mobile phones, veterinary bills, equipment stored in the vans etc are expensive and need replacing on a regular basis.
- Iain Turner
- David Turner
- Murrae Hume
- Linda Dunn
Sarah Jane Honeywell
Casualty Care Centre Team
Operations director: Trevor Weeks MBE
Lead Casualty manager: Katie Nunn Nash
Casualty Manager: Karen Francis
Rehabilitation Supervisor: Kathy Martyn
Animal Care Assistant: Holly Davis
Volunteer and Student Coordinator: Ellie Langridge
Receptionists: Kristy Sayer and Amy Davis
Cleaner and Maintenance: Julie Stafford
Veterinary surgeons: Simon Harris BVSc Cert VR, MRCVS, Dr Chris Hall BVSc, MRCVS, Mike Symons MRCVS
All WRAS managers have completed or are currently studying towards Diplomas in Wildlife First Aid and Rehabilitation or similar qualifications in Animal Care and have completed the BHPS & Vale Wildlife Rescue’s Hedgehog Basic First Aid, Care and Rehabilitation Course.
British Hedgehog Preservation Society
British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council
European Wildlife Rehabilitation Association
East Sussex WRAS is a registered charitable company. Registered Charity Number 1108880. The Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith is registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a Veterinary premise, Number 6548374.Follow us!