New orphan rearing unit opens at wildlife hospital

Brian Russell with a special framed dedication to Monica SUS-160802-150919001
Brian Russell with a special framed dedication to Monica SUS-160802-150919001

A new orphan rearing unit was opened last week at East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service’s wildlife hospital at Whitesmith.

The facility is more than three times the size of the previous temporary unit, and has been named after WRAS volunteer Monica Russell, who has volunteered for more than 20 years, helping wildlife charities with orphan rearing.

Monica is suffering from a rare and incurable form of Bile Duct Cancer, and sadly was too ill to come to the opening, but her husband Brian very kindly came along and opened the centre on her behalf.

He said: “This has been a very difficult time for us and seeing all the hard work which has gone into this and getting it open today is simply amazing. On behalf of Monica, I can’t thank everyone enough.

Trevor Weeks MBE, founder of WRAS, said: “I have known Monica for many years, and she has helped us take in and rear thousands of baby wildlife. I have seen her miraculously turn round numerous emaciated, hypothermic, premature baby wildlife like foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, stoats and more. She is amazing with the babies. Not only that, she has been a big help at WRAS with advice and support, helping as a committee member, trustee and chairperson and also helping on rescues, at fundraising events and much more.

Monica was recognised with a national honour in 2014, when she was given a British Citizen Award at the House of Lords for her services to volunteering and charitable giving.

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