Guidance For Volunteer Drivers
YOUR ROLE AS A VOLUNTEER DRIVER
You will be asked to collect a contained animal from a finder and take it to a wildlife rescue where a place will already have been agreed. We ask that you are polite and professional at all times (of course you will be!) and always drive safely and responsibly.
You are brilliant!
YOUR ROLE AS A VOLUNTEER WILL NOT BE...
...to capture a loose animal, to try and care for the animal yourself, or make any decisions about its care.
YOU WILL NEED
- A vehicle which is taxed, MOT’d and insured. Please contact your insurer to make sure you’re covered for volunteer driving. See here for guidance - https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/motor-insurance/volunteer-drivers/
- These 2 specific, vet approved transport carriers that we ask you to purchase (or have donated to you) on sign up.
- A map, sat nav or map app on your phone.
- A well-charged mobile phone with sufficient credit.
- A torch (the one on your phone is fine if you have a camera phone).
- Towels (with NO loose threads) to help keep the casualty comfortable, covered, and your car protected.
- Disinfectant and hand sanitizer to prevent any spread of disease.
- (Face-covering is 100% up to you. All interactions take place outside).
IF THERE'S A TRANSPORT JOB IN YOUR AREA
- A post will be made in the UK Wildlife Transporters Facebook group with the details of the casualty and where it needs to be transported from and to.
- If we think you may be able to help, you will be tagged in the post and/or receive a telephone call. If you’ve not been tagged but you can help with all or part of the journey, feel free to comment and let us know.
IF YOU ACCEPT A TRANSPORT 'JOB'
- We will run through a checklist on the phone with you, to make sure you have all that you NEED. We will run through the transport job with you (step by step) on the phone, so that you are prepared.
- You will receive a headed digital letter from UKWT (to show if you are stopped) stating that you are an essential worker, transporting a wildlife casualty to urgent medical care. You will also receive an email outlining our Welfare Policy and confirming the species of the casualty, the pick up address, the Finder's info/number, the rescue you are taking the casualty to, plus the pick up/drop off protocol.
IT'S OVER TO YOU
- Please then telephone the finder to make arrangements to pick the casualty up: letting them know when you are leaving (ideally ASAP) and your ETA.
VOLUNTEER DRIVER INSTRUCTIONS DURING A TRANSPORT JOB
(THESE WILL BE GONE THROUGH WITH YOU ON THE PHONE AND
EMAILED TO YOU BEFORE EVERY TRANSPORT JOB)
- Place one/two large towels (dependent on if you are using the small/large container) in the bottom of the container before heading off to pick up the casualty.
- When arriving at the Finder’s house (to collect the casualty) please place the container on the doorstep and step back.
- We (Transport Coordinators) will have already asked the Finder - when you arrive - to take the container inside and place the casualty inside the container. (As they pick up the container, please ask them to make sure that the towel is flat and covers the bottom of the container and that the casualty is placed in the middle AND remind them not to place any food/water or any other items in the container).
- The Finder brings the container outside and places it on the doorstep and steps back.
- You pick up the container from underneath and very gently - holding the container upright - place it on the back seat of the car, secured with a seatbelt.
- Make sure that the temperature in the car is comfortably warm (room temperature). (Take note of weather conditions, especially during hot spells).
- From this moment on, do NOT open the container (before reaching the Rescue/Rehabber) for any reason please. Opening the container causes the casualty stress, risks them escaping, and you getting bitten. If you are concerned about a casualty’s condition, the best place for it is with experienced rescuers to provide treatment ASAP.
- It is also advisable that the casualty does NOT consume food/water before reaching medical care because it may do more harm than good & even kill the casualty.
- Please donʼt play music or have loud conversations while the casualty is in the car. Stress levels can literally make the difference between life and death in wild casualties.
- Do not smoke during the journey please.
- Drive as smoothly as possible to the Rescue/Rehabber/Vet please, so that the casualty moves as little around the container as possible and remains as calm as possible. When you reach the Rescue, please carefully remove the container from the back seat - carrying it from underneath - and follow the drop off protocol (as stipulated by the Rescue/Rehabber) so that the Rescue removes the casualty from the container and you can return the container to your car. NEVER handle the casualty please. Allow the Rescue staff/Rehabber to remove the casualty from the container, to take it inside.
- Once you have handed the casualty over, please sanitise your hands and spray the car seat with disinfectant to prevent any spread of disease.
- When you get home, please IMMEDIATELY put the towel on a hot wash and disinfect the container [following the instructions on the BOTTLE] and allow it to dry for 24hrs.
DO NOT TAKE PHOTOS
Taking photos of the casualty (even through the door/lid of the containers) is absolutely forbidden since even just being observed while unable to escape causes immense stress to wildlife and could be deemed life threatening when poorly/injured. If it is suspected that you are taking photos of causalities during Transport Jobs you will be asked to step down as a Volunteer Driver.
Volunteer Drivers can be reimbursed for fuel costs.
You may be happy to waive the expenses reimbursement but please do not feel obliged to.
Alternatively, it is perfectly legal for you to claim the expenses and then donate all or some of the money to the rescue who took the casualty.
To claim expenses for your trip please complete this FORM.
(NB: Due to the risks and complications of storing bank account information, we would prefer to only pay expenses via PayPal).
Do I need to commit to a minimum availability or number of journeys?
ONLY if you are asking for the 2 Transport Containers (that you need to use for Transport Jobs) to be donated to you. The only stipulation in that case will be... If we contact you more than 3 times (in a row) to ask for your help with a Transport Job during the hours that you have stated on your form that you will be available and you do not answer or are unable to help - you will return the carriers to us (for us to donate to another Driver) at your own expense, within one week.
If you are purchasing your own Transport Containers, just give us some idea of your availability and we’ll be in touch if and when we have a casualty in need of transport help in your area. If you can’t help, that’s totally fine.
Who do I contact if there’s a problem?
If you have any questions or encounter any issues, please phone us (the phone number will be in the email you receive with the Finder & Rescue's address, etc.).