Wildlife charity is overloaded

One of the most popular wildlife rescue organisations in East Sussex, has become so overloaded with the demand for call-outs and casualties coming in that it is being forced to limit the number of incidents it can deal with on a temporary basis.

So far during 2008 East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) has dealt with over 2100 incidents which is 800 incidents more than this time last year. The number of incidents is almost as high as the total number of incidents dealt with during 2007.

Last years WRAS successfully set up a casualty care centre at Horsebridge which has decreased the cost of treating each casualty and careful expenditure has helped the charity along, but no-one could envisage such large numbers of call-outs and casualties for this year.

"I have never known anything like this," express Trevor Weeks founder of East Sussex WRAS who has been rescuing animals for over 23 year now.

"Last week our Management Committee reluctantly made the decision that after undertaking a years worth of work in just 7 months and the associated costs, our unit being full to overflowing and a shortage of volunteers due to summer holidays we will only be able to deal with a limited number of casualties over the next few weeks depending on what facilities become available both in our unit and at neighbouring rescue centres. WRAS is not shutting down in any way or are we planning to shut down but we have to pause and take stock of what has become a large operation and recuperate funds" said WRAS’s Chair Sue Wilkinson.

"Rest assured, Trevor Weeks, Tim McKenzie and the rest of the Management Committee strongly believe in WRAS, its aims and the hard work of its volunteers and are fighting for WRAS to continue the excellent service it provides. However, we cannot continue to deal with an average of 25 call-outs a day without increasing the kind and generous donations which are received. We urgently need your help." said Sue.

If you can take out a standing order with WRAS or increase your existing standing order by just £1 a month, make a one off donation, get your company to sponsor our charity or an ambulance, organise a coffee morning or run a car boot sale table for WRAS. It all helps like our Charity Dog Show this coming weekend at The Dicker Village Hall on Coldharbour Road, Upper Dicker off the A22 at Hailsham on Sunday 27th July. Entries £1 from 12noon and judging commences at 1pm.

If you feel you can help WRAS at this difficult time, either with a financial donation, sponsorship or volunteering your help with the animals, please call the rescue line on 07815 078234 or send any donations by post or come along and meet Trevor on Sunday.

"WRAS provides a vital service which would otherwise see thousands of animals die and suffer if WRAS did not exist. I believe in WRAS so strongly that I have started paying the petrol for my ambulance to keep it on the road, and am taking time off work to help raise funds for WRAS. But we need other people to help donate money, donate by standing order, companies to sponsor WRAS vehicles and our hospital unit our newsletters etc. Please show the animals that you care as much as we do, we can’t do this all on our own. Please help." said Trevor.

WRAS is looking for a professional fundraiser to come on board to help bring in funds, grants and sponsorship and would like to hear from anyone who is a professional fundraiser.

Further information about WRAS can be found at www.wildlifeambulance.org

"I must apologise to anyone who we are not able to help in the short term, I do feel extremely guilty about not being able to respond to all call-outs but if WRAS is to survive it needs to limit what it does until further support and funding can be found" said Trevor.

Anyone wanting to make a donation should post a donation payable to "East Sussex WRAS" to Ash Cottage, 23 Friday Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 8AY or make a donation online.

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

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