Ray of Hope for wildlife

The people and wildlife of East Sussex will be better supported as new expansion plans are put into action by East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS).

East Sussex WRAS is expanding into a new Casualty Care Centre next to its existing small centre at Whitesmith on the A22 between Hailsham and Uckfield. At a time when many rescue centres have closed due to the recession WRAS is "a ray of hope" according to founder Trevor Weeks.

Currently WRAS runs 4 veterinary ambulances and operates a small one room Casualty Care Centre which is capable of holding up to 27 casualties at a time. The new facilities will help WRAS deal over 60 casualties at a time eventually. The new unit is about 5 time the size of the current hospital.

The downstairs area will be split into 2 casualty rooms, an examination and first aid room, a quarantine room, a food preparation area, a wet room and an set aside for badgers, foxes and swans and small deer. Upstairs will have a kitchen, toilet and staff room for WRAS's volunteers to use as well as an office. There will also be a meeting room which will be used for educational work aimed at not just WRAS volunteers but for use by local schools, college and community groups wanting to learn more about wildlife and the environment. There will also be a small bedroom for use by volunteers when necessary to look after casualties through the night too.

"This is an exciting time for WRAS. We can only afford this thanks to our landlord supporting us. We will need to raise lots more money to cope with the workload and to equip the new centre with additional caging and equipment. This will really benefit not just the animals but the local community as well with new educational facilities too. At a time when many rescue centres have closed down and our workload is on the increase this is a little ray of hope for everyone” said Trevor Weeks director and founder of WRAS.

"Trevor has been undertaking wildlife rescue and conservation work for over 25 years this summer and this is another exciting step towards helping more animals and people. We frequently find that we have problems with keeping prey and predator apart, so when a swan is in we can’t take in a fox for example, this new unit will really help change all this” said director Murrae Hume who has also volunteered for WRAS for more than 14 years.

WRAS is in need of support and is asking people to make donations to help WRAS purchase equipment from £10,000 being needed on special veterinary cages, plus work being needed building partition walls, plumbing, electrical work, as well as flooring, new doors, microwave, fridge, freezer, AV equipment, mops and buckets, building materials and much more.

WRAS responds to over 2500 calls for help every year from the public as well as local councils, the police and various other groups. "It's not the animals which call us out but the concerned people who find the casualties and who are distressed and concerned about the animal and want to see the right thing done to help the injured animal. We are here not just for the animals but for the people who call us out too" said Trevor, "it can be dangerous to pick up some injured wildlife so we are there to help as many people as we can. We can’t help everyone yet, but we are getting there and moving in the right direction."

Anyone wanting to support WRAS's expansion plans can make a donation online or post a donation to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 9DE. Donors interested in visiting the new site of the Casualty Centre can contact WRAS via its rescue line to arrange an appoint to visit.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, Director, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958

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