Australian Charity of the Month – WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service)
~ July 2018
WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) has been rescuing and caring for native animals in NSW since 1985, officially launching as an organisation in March 1986. Their mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.
I personally am just 1 of over 2500 WIRES volunteers involved in the rescue and care of native wildlife. WIRES provides all of it’s volunteers with training courses, resources, subsidized food and a dedicated Rescue Office that operates 365 days a year coordinating volunteers and assisting the community to help native animals in distress.
WIRES depends heavily on volunteers to provide the caring and rescue support it provides for wildlife and the community. If you’re interested in volunteering, there are a number of roles to play to suit your personal lifestyle and availability.
My favourite role as a WIRES volunteer is as carer for orphaned, injured and displaced animals. I have cared for 100’s of native animals since joining WIRES in 2009 and have experienced so many special moments. The most rewarding part of the journey for me always being the moment when all of my efforts result in the successful release of an animal back into the wild. It does take a lot of commitment and countless hours at times, day and night to be a carer, however if you are a person who is passionate about the environment and the health, well being and preservation of our native wildlife, then the role of carer is a rewarding one. For me, it provides a sense of fulfillment, achievement and contribution to a cause I greatly value.
The role of carer is not always one I can realistically perform throughout the year due to shifting family and work commitments, which is when I contribute more time as a volunteer rescuer. As a rescuer with WIRES, I have the flexibility to schedule my availability to fit my sometimes overly busy lifestyle. With 27 WIRES branches across NSW, branch members can focus on their local area, engaging with the local community and minimising the need to travel too far.
The rescue role provides the opportunity to learn valuable assessment skills that assist in making the decisions necessary for the animal’s best interests. These decisions are not always easy, however you are never unsupported. Decisions are made by branch members working together with veterinarians to assess and aid the injured and orphaned wildlife, to develop appropriate care plans, to find specialist care or in some unfortunate cases to make the decision to euthanase. As a branch member, I am always supported by more experienced carers and have the opportunity to learn more and grow in confidence. I have experienced some very memorable WIRES rescues that have taken me to parts of the community I hadn’t explored, engaged with locals I may not have otherwise met and made friendships with fellow volunteers that extend beyond our volunteer roles. Even now as I write this, I’m smiling at the memories of the more interesting and challenging rescues I have experienced!
If neither the role of carer or rescuer is a suitable option for you, there are also a number of administrative roles within the branches that require support for fundraising and branch management activities. Visit the WIRES website to learn more about volunteer opportunities in your local area that suit your lifestyle.
Of course, like so many charities, WIRES also relies heavily on donations to fund the services they provide. Vehicle incidents increase during the winter months due to our shorter days. Every year, hundreds of animal’s lives are lost and many more are orphaned. Collision’s with vehicles is one of the most common reasons for this, with many of the animals in need of rescue and ongoing care. The worst month is July. If you would like to donate, visit the website and donate to the Winter Appeal.
If you would like to contribute even more, then you can also Sign Up to Shop it Forward. Shop it Forward provides you the opportunity to raise funds for charities, schools & non-profit groups at no additional cost. You can shop it forward with 500+ retail partners! Our partners contribute a portion of your shopping spend, providing a passive, ongoing income for the cause you care about! To Shop it Forward for WIRES, select WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) in the nominate your charity section when you sign up.