Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, has crowned the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service volunteers Wealden Heroes for their exceptional work helping people and the wildlife of East Sussex.
The East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) is a group of over 150 rescue volunteers, set up to provide a front-line rescue service for wildlife casualties. The casualty centre located in Whitesmith can accommodate up to 300 casualties at any one time and it stayed fully open and active throughout the pandemic, responding to countless rescue calls from the public and providing support to Wealden District.
Every year, WRAS rescue line receives between 3-4,000 calls from the public and partner animal welfare organisations. 2020 saw the charity deal with over 5,100 casualties and despite the circumstances, the staff remained dedicated and formed a work cohort that kept the hospital running and helped with responding to casualties, collecting them, and delivering them to the hospital.
WRAS service is free of charge,but the average cost of each a call-out is £85, which includes veterinary bills, food, bedding, caging, rescue equipment and other necessary expenses. All donations to help cover these costs are most welcome and WRAS also offers cage sponsorships. To find out more, visit www.wildlifeambulance.org.
Nusrat Ghani said: “Many thanks and congratulations to the whole team of fantastic volunteers at WRAS! It was a pleasure to visit the site and see the incredible facilities we have in Whitesmith to care for injured wild animals. The centre cares for mammals including hedgehogs, badgers and foxes as well as all native British wild birds. Some of the animals that come into care include incidents of being entangled in plastic and rubbish, so I would like to urge Wealden residents to take greater care of our environment and wildlife and dispose of their rubbish appropriately.”
Trevor Weeks MBE, Founder & Operations Director said: “Our volunteers and staff have work exceptionally hard over the last couple of years and Covid has proven very problematic trying to keep everyone safe and secure as well as trying to rescue the casualties. WRAS stayed open and kept providing its front line rescue service for local wildlife in need throughout the pandemic. Without our staff, volunteers and donors, none of this would be possible. For our staff and volunteers to be recognised by the local community is great and it's giving everyone a buzz that their huge efforts over the last couple of years have not gone unnoticed”.
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