IT’S that time of year and a Thurrock-based animal charity has certainly got its hands full at the moment as new life in the borough gets into trouble.
The South Essex Wildlife Hospital at Orsett is a rescue, rehabilitation and public advice charity that looks after wild animals 24/7 throughout the year.
But spring is a time when it is particularly busy with new born animals losing their parents and being brought in for care before hopefully being released back into the wild.
In recent days alone the hospital has taken in young badgers, including a rare white one that suffers from leucisism - a condition that causes the skin and fur to look white and pale- and a number of fawns as its resources become increasingly stretched.
Thankfully the work of the charity is well recognised by local fundraisers, none more so that the Co-op community fund which has nominated the hospital as a charity supported by members at two of its local stores – in Gardner Avenue, Corringham, and Stanford-le-Hope High Street.
The money received from the two stores and its member shoppers is gratefully received and put to good use by the charity founded in 1995 by Sue Schwar, who at the time looked after animals at her home as a hobby.
Her vision grew into the purpose-built facility in Orsett where the staff and volunteers often get between 50 and 100 phone calls a day and frequently have 200 to 300 patients (or more) in the Hospital at any one time.
No sick, injured or orphaned animal is turned away, requiring that the hospital operates seven days a week. Staffed by paid veterinary staff, a handful of dedicated volunteers and Sue herself, who often have to work in hazardous conditions, late at night and in adverse weather.
Sue remains as passionate about the cause as ever, saying: “We cannot always guarantee to come out and collect an animal but will always accept one brought to South Essex Wildlife Hospital.
“We have the only hospital facilities of its kind within our area, covering most of Essex, East London and North Kent.
“The cost of food, equipment, fuel and vets bills is met solely by public donations, for which we are extremely grateful. Without this valuable support, SEWH would cease to exist, and we would be unable to prevent the suffering of many stricken wild animals in urgent and desperate need of our help.”
Sue added: “We are very grateful to all our supporters and particularly the Co-op and its member shoppers. Needless to say we would not be able to help a single animal if it were not for the help from our supporters.”
For more information on the South Essex Wildlife Hospital click here.