A former soldier who trained the Malaysian Special Forces is teaching Sussex charity workers self-defence.

The classes are being held after an animal rescue volunteer was attacked late at night.

Trevor Weeks, the founder of the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, was last month held up in his wildlife rescue ambulance by a thug demanding drugs.

After being assaulted, a shaken Mr Weeks told the suspect he had no drugs as he was just an animal rescue service. The man then drove off.

In response, charity Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service (WADARS) has announced that charity volunteers will be given courses in urban safety.

The two-and-a-half hour classes offer training and advice on breakaway and escape techniques, urban first-aid, road rage and personal safety.

Tony Thorne, fundraising manager for Wadars, said: “The courses are something we have been looking to do for some time now.

“A lot of our staff are often working alone most of the time and can be presented with some difficult situations, as seen by Trevor’s unfortunate episode last month.

“The workshops are open to anyone who works for a charitable organisation or a business and who wants to learn some basic techniques in keeping safe.

“You just don’t know what to expect any more so it’s always helpful to have some basic training behind you.

“We are welcoming as many people as possible down to the sessions, which are totally not-for-profit.”

The classes will be held by the former soldier only known as Chris, who, after spending 22 years in the British Armed Forces, trained the Malaysian Special Forces in protection duties at the Commonwealth Games.

The sessions will take place on Sunday at Clapham and Patching village hall in Long Furlong Road, just off the A27.

The cost of the workshop is £25.

For more information ring WADARS on 0300 30 30 999 or e-mail enquiries@wadars.co.uk