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Urgent Appeal on behalf of East Sussex WRAS
Event dates: 7th August 2008 – 31st December 2008
Lizzie Legate is raising money for East Sussex WRAS
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service is struggling to survive due to the sheer volume of casualties is has had to deal with this year. Almost 2300 incidents have been dealt with so far this year which is the equivalent of a years worth of work in 7 months.
"WRAS is letting alot of people and animals down at the moment and it is heart breaking that we do not have the funding to expand to cope with the demand," said founder Trevor Weeks, "it is really hard having to tell people we cannot respond and can’t afford the vets bills or travel costs and food, and we are getting people who are being rude to us as a result. We are trying our best to raise extra funds to keep WRAS going and build up our resources."
Trevor Weeks started undertaking wildlife rescue and conservation work when he was just 13 years old and still at school. He used to jump on a train to Brighton and walk along the coast picking up oiled seabirds during the winter months. He progressed into helping other specialist organisations that deal with foxes, badgers, bats, toads, birds and more. Slowly members of the public started contacting Trevor direct rather than being called out by the groups Trevor volunteered for. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue was formed in the early 1990s after vets bills and expenses got too much for Trevor to cope with. East Sussex WRAS was formed as a registered charity in 2005. It has gone from dealing with 5 casualties a week over 20 years ago to dealing with other 25 call-outs a day.
"WRAS is a valuable community service and is regularly called out by local authorities, organisations and the public, because they know we will try our hardest and do our best for each and every animal we get called to" said Trevor, "I hate the fact that we are struggling to help much at the moment but we hope this will be a short term problems but we need to members of the public to donate to us and companys to sponsor our service so we can keep going."
Last year WRAS put in place new facilities and working practices which have saved money and costs, however WRAS did not expect to deal with such a volume of casualties. "If we were a business and charged for our services we would be an extremely rich company, but we are a charity and rely on donations. We are a victim of our continuing success. We are trying to introduce more fundraising, we are looking at taking on a professional fundraiser and are in the process of changing the structure of WRAS to cope with the number of casualties which WRAS is being asked to deal with." said Trevor.
"I would hate to see WRAS close which is why I'm donating some saving I have to help WRAS continue, but I can't fund WRAS on my own and need as much help as possible to expand and cope with the workload" said Trevor, "it surprises me how many people think we are funded by the RSPCA or funded by local authorities. We do get valuable small grants from a few councils but this money does not go very far. Despite what alot of people think I am a volunteer and do not get paid for what I do. We achieve much more than most organisations of our size and we're recently told by on trust fund that WRAS is one of the most cost effective
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