Busy rescue service in need of more volunteers

A busy Sussex wildlife rescue charity is in need of volunteers who can help with collections and delivering casualties around East Sussex. The Charity is way up on last years incidents and is struggling to cope with the demand which is higher than this time last year.

Today (Wednesday 7 May) East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) has received over 18 call-outs from members of the public all over East Sussex. Including an injured Moorhen in Hailsham; Blackbird in Eastbourne; Baby Rabbit in St Leonards; Gull caught in fishing line at Eastbourne; Abandoned Owl at Waldron; Starling fallen down a cavity in Peacehaven; Canada Goose caught in line at Eastbourne; Ducklings cross Boship Roundabout near Hailsham; Injured Dove at Peacehaven; Nest of Fledgling Starlings at Eastbourne moved by a roofer; Injured Pigeon in Seaford and an injured hedgehogs in Willingdon to name a few.

"When I started doing rescue work back in the 1980s, I used to do work for other organisations and they would call me out, slowly members of the public started calling me out direct and it got so busy that I had to start East Sussex Wildlife Rescue. We now have a small team of volunteers but we are struggling to cope with the volume of work. This is not helped by the fact that neighbouring rescue groups are also snowed under due to a rescue centres elsewhere closing their doors to casualties. Even local centres are telling us they cannot take certain casualties anymore as they are full, as a result we are getting more and more calls" said Trevor Weeks, "this is one reason why our casualty care centre is not being used more and more as a hospital rather than just for intensive care."

WRAS was forced to construct its Casualty Care Unit in the grounds of Horsebridge Veterinary Practice last year to help provide better facilities for housing and treating casualties in need of intensive care and veterinary treatment. In the last three months WRAS has had a 74% success rate in treating and releasing casualties which have visited the unit.

WRAS is trying its best to deal with all call-outs as quickly as possible but needs extra volunteers to help out with minor rescues, collections and delivering of casualties. Our Brighton ambulance is off the road now and we are trying to raise funds to provide two replacement vehicles so that our volunteers will eventually be able to use one of our vehicles to help transport casualties to and from veterinary or wildlife centres and from rescues.

So far this year WRAS has dealt with over 840 incidents which is almost 350 incidents up on this time last year.

WRAS is interested in hearing from volunteers in the Brighton, Eastbourne, Uckfield and Hastings areas especially. Anyone interested in helping as a volunteers either as a rescuer, taxi driver or for helping with fundraising should contact WRAS on its rescue line 07815 078234.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958 (private).

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