New Critical Care Unit will help Charity out of Financial Squeeze

A well known wildlife charity in East Sussex is having to introduce drastic spending restrictions because of low funds as a result of being too successful and too well known.


Over the past twelve months East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) has seen a big increase in the number of fox cubs from 6 to 18 and increase in 300%. Last year WRAS responded to 45 deer call-outs WRAS has already attended that number so far this year! During 2006 WRAS rescued 86 swans and so far this year we have rescued 56 much more than this time last year.

During 2006 WRAS received 2,210 calls for help, so far this year the number is 760 and the busy season is only just starting. In the next few months WRAS’s call rate will increase to over 50 calls a day on busy days.


"A number of our calls come from organisations like Eastbourne Borough Council and Sussex Police, unfortunately these people think we are paid by these organisations when in truth we do not receive a penny from them - saving the tax payers money," said Trevor Weeks, founder of East Sussex WRAS, "We are also not paid anything by the RSPCA or RSPB when responding to calls which they either ask us to attend or when they give out our number to members of the public."


As Trevor and all the other WRAS rescuers work round the clock many people automatically think that they are paid, surprisingly they are all volunteers, who donate their time free of charge to help animal.


Some people see an animal charity and won’t give, but at WRAS are help people too. Over the last 22 years it is estimated that Trevor and the other WRAS rescuers have helped over 35,000 casualties and all of people who have been distressed and very upset when finding these casualties. "We have numerous letter from people who have called us out and been so releaved that we have been able to help them and make them feel better as a result - so please don’t dismiss us as an animal charity, we help support humans too" said Trevor, " although it is not without our remit to do so, we have also help people with pets when no one else has been willing to."


"Most people don’t realise that most vets charge WRAS for treating casualties and all vets charge for operations and specialist treatments or tests" said Trevor. "on average it cost WRAS £65 to be on call for and respond to each casualty.


WRAS is in the process of trying to set up a new Critical Care Unit at Horsebridge Vets, which will reduce the vets bills as WRAS will be able to set up its own veterinary account to order medication at cost price as well as preventing charges for accomodation at vets. "With new unit WRAS volunteers will also start to deal with the general maintenance of casualties reducing down the work the vets have to do. This will in turn help us save a lot of money" said Trevor, " we have spent £7,000 on have the building erected, but now we need £15,000 to equip the unit so that we can save money in the long run and reduce our monthly vets bills right down."


As a result of this new unit WRAS will be able to reduce down the number of journeys to other rescue centres meaning casualties can be gathered together and moved together in one journey rather than having to undertake several journeys in one day.


"The good news is that there is a solution to our financial situation and with the help of animals lovers across East Sussex and beyond we hope that we can get this new unit up and running and reduce down the huge veterinary bills which are currently crippling us - so please please help" said Trevor.

Trevor Weeks has been running East Sussex WRAS for 22 years now and started off paying for vets bills and running costs out of his own pocket. From his humble beginnings when he rescued casualties around a full time job dealing with less than 100 casualties a year, Trevor and WRAS have slowly grown into a Register Charity which is well known and respected many animal welfare organisation across the country.

WRAS is funded entirely by donations and is urging anyone who can afford to do so to donate by standing order as it is the best way of WRAS being able to budget for the future. "Even just £3 a month can make a big difference to us and a huge different to the casualties we treat." added Trevor.

"If anyone would like to make a donation please send a cheque payable to East Sussex WRAS and post it to Peter Mortimer, WRAS Treasurer, Ash Cottage, 73 Friday Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 8AY. Many Thanks." Trevor Weeks.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks - 07931 523958 (private) 07815 078 234 (public)

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