WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO RUN UKWT AND GET WILDLIFE CASUALTIES TO WHAT WE HOPE WILL BE THE BEST CARE?
WHAT ARE YOUR DONATIONS (AS WE FACE GROWING DEMAND) FUNDING?
ACCESSIBILITY (TO BE AVAILABLE TO VETS PRACTICES, WILDLIFE RESCUES & DRIVERS)
Our phone lines & email access.
Sometimes we pay solicitors for one-off commissions to prepare documents on certain issues that might be causing confusion (like keeping Birds in captivity, according to the current legislation) or getting ongoing legal advice over the transportation of trickier species, like Grey Squirrels and - currently - Birds. We always do our best to run as a professional, efficient, high welfare organisation (helping high welfare Vets & Rescues to help wildlife) so really understanding our legal rights and the legal rights of wildlife helps us in our day to day challenges.
This is a tiny, less than 1% expense of what we spend out on all costs to keep UKWT going: paying a £11 monthly fee to access design software CANVA to use on our websites and in our social media posts and our presentations and emails and our ‘calls to action’ and recruitment drives. We have 2 websites relevant to UKWT at the moment. These are… The Wildlife Care Badge website and the UKWT website itself.
I design, build, maintain and update the UKWT and the WCB websites. It’s a lot of work but it would cost £1000s to have someone else doing it. I pay a tiny monthly fee to link it to our domains and have payment forms on the websites.
I ask constantly for help, from Vets, solicitors and from really experienced (Vet approved) Rescues/Rehabbers.
I consult them on matters like….
How can I best work with Vets practices across the UK to better help wildlife that are found in remote areas, miles from Rescues (especially Birds)?
How I could build in safer Avian Flu protocols for UKWT Drivers, when they are going to be transporting Birds (and should it be up to the Vets & Rescues to do that)?
And so much more….
COMPASSION FATIGUE SESSIONS
Sometimes I fund Compassion Fatigue sessions - run by professional coaches - for Wildlife Rescuers and Vets, to help them cope with their day to day emotional challenges. Sometimes I have paid for these myself and sometimes UKWT funds it to support the Rescues and Vets that we transport to. UKWT Drivers and Coordinators are also invited (free) to attend the sessions.
Zoom: I pay a monthly subscription fee to Zoom to be able to use the service to get the Wildlife Care Badge up and running and to also get advice for UKWT from various professionals AND to check in with UKWT Coordinators.
Computer software: I pay a tiny subscription fee every month for an email mailing platform (to best reach out to all Drivers in one go, if needed, or the growing number of applicants applying for the WCB). We did used to use Mail Chimp, as it's free, but then emails stopped arriving reliably so we found a very cheap alternative.
I also pay for software to process WCB applicants through their Knowledge Assessments (£16 a month).
COVERING FUEL COSTS
Fuel for Volunteer Drivers. A lot of Drivers are amazing and don’t ask for it but we should have money to fund it all the time, if needed. I sometimes offer fuel to Finders or Vets practices to help support them if they are transporting the casualty themselves.
Sometimes it is easier to get a Finder to jump in a taxi to get a wildlife casualty to a Vets or Rescue, if it is very close by. (Sometimes this is our only alternative if a Volunteer Driver can not be found). We can help Vets Practices & Wildlife Rescues fund this.
I constantly try and educate myself to keep up with any new animal welfare and wildlife and especially biosecurity recommendations and legislation. I also educated myself a little - by buying books like the BSAVA Manual and Practical Wildlife Care - on some basic aspects of Wildlife Rehabbing so that I could understand what Wildlife Rehabbers and Vets were talking about when I was project managing the creation of the Wildlife Care Badge.
GROWING OUR DRIVER NUMBERS
Recruiting & equipping new Drivers (Carriers & Disinfectant).
[Recently, this has meant looking at Facebook ads, adverts in local newspapers and writing press releases to expand our reach to non social media uses across the UK and getting in touch with local newspapers across the UK. I could have hired someone to do this, it is a CRUCIAL job that will be the difference between transporting or not, in some areas. Instead I am doing it mostly by myself, to keep costs down.]
We make sure that the Wildlife Rescues & Rehabbers that we recruit for all have their premises checked by a Vet.
We Vet check ALL of the Wildlife Rescues that we transport to (or they come under the umbrella of a larger centre that we know has Vets on site/visiting regularly) because Wildlife Rescue is completely unregulated in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.
We won't recruit for someone if we aren't sure they have high standards of care.
Ah the endless admin work... From getting new Volunteer Drivers set up, to keeping our databases and maps updated, adding new (Vet approved) Rescues and Rehabbers to our map, looking up local newspapers across the country, etc etc. It's hours of work, every week, in order to operate as efficiently as possible, day in and day out.
FINALLY... WHY DOES THE 'WILDLIFE CARE BADGE' HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH UKWT AND WHY DO I USE SOME UKWT DONATIONS TO HELP FUND IT?
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabbing in the UK is completely unregulated which makes it very difficult to know which Wildlife Rescues to support. With the very best of intentions, injured/orphaned wildlife are often being rehabilitated by members of the public with very little training or knowledge on wildlife care and yet they have (as they are working to be as professional as possible, to their credit) presented themselves as a 'Wildlife Rescue'.
Our UKWT criteria is currently that a Rescue/Rehabber has a Vet report of their premises but we need to do a lot better than that.
From UKWT's point of view, there's no point helping wildlife casualties at all if we can't be sure of them being transported to knowledgeable, expert care.
Over the last year, the WCB has been developed (with me - Alana - only Project Managing it, all of the ideas and content came from Wildlife Professionals) through a uniting of Wildlife Experienced Vets, small 'Home Premises' Rehabbers, larger Wildlife Rescue Centres, General Practice Vets and other Wildlife Professionals. For over a year there have been approximately 50hrs of Zoom meetings on every topic and revision after revision of the WCB as it has been created together, from those within the wildlife industry.