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June 22, 2020
Diana Stylianou

It started with a four-legged mammal

An injured hedgehog was the start of a challenging and rewarding journey for June and Barry Smitherman, the founders of Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service.

In the last 3 decades has seen the charity grow from a small hut located in Trent Park, North London to a centre which treats and homes over two hundred animals and birds.

WRAS was founded in 1985 with the objective to provide a safe home for rescued wildlife who are sick, injured, or orphaned. Their rehabilitation programme aims to release animals and birds back into the wild.  There are however occasions where this is not possible, and they take up permanent residence at the centre. Where specialist care is required, they will find a suitable home at a specialist sanctuary.

Wellbeing

Wildlife can have a profound effect on our wellbeing. It has been proven that contact with nature is linked to better health, a reduction in stress, and improved mental wellbeing.

The centre has not only supported the health of wildlife, they have opened their doors to the public and schools, as well as many mental health and disabled organisations and charities.

Speaking to Barry and June Smitherman they are often amazed by how interaction with wildlife can have a profound effect on recovery or mental health.

They have many heart-warming stories around the impact the centre has had on individuals and families.

One story, although they are many others, illustrates the important effect simply being in the company of wildlife can have.

A few years ago, an eight-year-old boy and his mother visited the centre for the first time.  Every week the mother and her son, who was non-verbal, would visit the centre. Her son was captivated by Dusty, a rescue pony who resided at the centre. Over weeks the boy and Dusty developed a strong bond - Dusty would trot over to welcome his human friend each time he visited. After months of visiting the centre the boy spoke his first words “Dusty” as he greeted his four-legged friend.

100% funded by kindness

Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service is a charity and relies 100% on charitable donations to keep the centre operational.

By donating to Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service, you can transform the lives of wildlife in the UK by helping to provide life-saving operations, paying for their food, accommodation or finding loving new homes. Any gift, big or small will help make a difference to an animal or birds’ life.


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