The Group heard from Yvonne Fenter, who is one of the charity’s volunteer speakers, but is also a trustee and wife of the founder of the hospital. It had been set up originally in the village of Eartham, but moved to its current site in 1985 where it continues to this day. There is work going on currently to improve the facilities, which are so well used for wildlife in need, and in fact our local WADARS organisation transports many rescued birds and animals there if necessary for their treatment and recuperation.
The hospital treats some 3000 patients a year, of which approximately 2500 are birds of all species. Many of these are of course baby birds, which have to be fed constantly, and staff make use of liquidised dog and cat food fed on the end of a paint brush for this purpose. It should be noted that members of the Group on the night stepped up to the mark and answered the hospital’s request to bring along meat based dog and cat food with them as a donation. Scores of cans and packets were passed on for their use, as well as some generous cash donations. All of these were gratefully received by Yvonne.
The principle of the hospital is that if any animal or bird is in need, then they will treat it. To complete the talk, Yvonne gave members useful advice on what to do if they found an animal requiring help, and she outlined the particular problem of discarded fishing hooks and line which can easily be ingested by sea birds. Continuing the sea theme, she told the Group that oiled birds were not the problem they used to be with the practice of ships illegally flushing out their tanks in the channel having virtually stopped.
We are very lucky to have such a facility near to us in the county, and it deserves our support. They do have their own charity shop in the Guildbourne Centre in Worthing, where they will happily receive items to sell, as well as items such as towels, newspapers etc to use in the care of their patients.