Sussex wildlife charity overwhelmed after increase in calls following founder's MBE award (From The Argus)
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Sussex wildlife charity overwhelmed after increase in calls following founder's MBE award
An animal rescue hero given an MBE last year has admitted the award has left the charity 'struggling to survive.'
Founder of the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service revealed his organisation desperately needs more volunteers and cash as a result of the “excellent exposure” following his trip to Buckingham Palace.
Calls to the charity have more than doubled in 12 months with volunteers receiving some 120 calls a day.
Founder Trevor Weeks is now pleading with animal lovers to help out by setting up a standing order or volunteering.
He said: “It has got to the point whereby on a busy day we can only attend two or three out of every five calls. We just haven't got the resources.
“Last year was fantastic with the MBE and other awards and we had some fantastic exposure off the back of that.
“However, as a result of more people knowing about us, we are getting more and more calls all the time.”
Mr Weeks set up East Sussex WRAS back in 1996.
Over the years the organisation has grown and now deals with many thousands of calls each year.
As well as four veterinary ambulances they have created their own specialist wildlife casualty centre at Whitesmith on the A22.
'Through the roof'
Last year, his many thousands of hours of hard work were recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours with an MBE.
Later in the year he hit the headlines again after picking up the BBC Radio Sussex Community Heroes Animal Welfare Award before receiving the British Animal Honours Awards earlier this year.
He added: “Calls have gone through the roof. Last year on a busy day we would get something like 45 calls a day. This summer we have had up to 120.
“It's upsetting for our members of staff because they get the abuse when we say we can't come. Nobody should have to deal with that.”
Mr Weeks has appeared in the pages of The Argus many times over the years rescuing all sorts of creatures from sticky situations.
On one occasion he was called out to help a seal trapped in a nuclear power station while on another he helped an albino deer with its antlers caught in a rope swing.
He is now appealing for animal lovers to help out by setting up a standing order through their website.
He is also looking for volunteers to help with the workload.
For more details and to offer your services visit: www.wildlifeambulance.org.
The MBE holder was putting his digits in danger again this week after being called out to rescue a terrified fox stuck in a tree.
He was scrambled to Eastbourne's Willingdon Primary School after the crafty mammal got himself tangled five foot off the ground in a bramble bush.
Mr Weeks waded into the prickly bush and cut away at the branches until he could grab the wounded animal with a dog grasper.
It was taken back to their casualty care centre where it was found to have a fractured toe.
He said: “This fox has been extremely lucky - it was spotted early enough so flys had only just started laying eggs on the wounds and there were no sign of maggots.
“But also with the school summer holidays starting today the fox may not have been noticed and could potentially have died a slow and horrible death.”
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