Appeal to save ‘amazing’ Bexhill and Hastings Wildlife Rescue

Chris Tucker, Hastings and Bexhill Wildlife Rescue. SUS-160216-100327001
Chris Tucker, Hastings and Bexhill Wildlife Rescue. SUS-160216-100327001

A cherished animal rescue covering Bexhill and Hastings is calling on the public to help raise £25,000 or else it will close in three weeks.

Bexhill and Hastings Wildlife Rescue (BHWR) needs to find a new site by Friday, July 1, or the animals it currently shelters will be homeless and the hundreds it saves every year will die.

Owner Chris Tucker needs to relocate the rescue and his family from his home on Chantry Avenue, Bexhill, but does not have enough to fund a new house and site for BHWR.

A 2.6-acre field has been found for BHWR but Chris needs around £25,000 to make it happen and volunteer Sarah Geller pleaded for the community to help.

“We are absolutely desperate,” she said.

“This is a very small but very hard working rescue, which works closely with established charities Barby Keel’s Animal Sanctuary, for whom Chris handles all their wildlife calls and East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, for whom he often handles calls in our area.

“Please please help this little jewel in Bexhill and Hastings’ crown to continue.”

Chris has around £180,000 of savings to buy a new home for himself and his daughter, as well as a new site for BHWR. After months of searching and one bid falling through, he has found a perfect field for the rescue which costs £40,000, which would not leave him with enough money for a house.

Sarah estimated Chris needs another £25,000 to secure the small holding and leave enough for a new house.

“I know that we could secure it for a non-refundable deposit, which we could do tomorrow, but we would be foolish to pay a deposit until we are sure that we can pay the rest of the balance and still leave Chris enough of his own money to purchase a home. So we need to make up the shortfall,” she said.

BHWR has been operating for six years and Chris is constantly taking on injured animals.

Chris has been funding the rescue almost entirely through his own money, earned working part-time for the NHS and as a gardener.

But if they cannot raise enough money, BHWR will close and the 24/7 service Chris provides rescuing injured animals will cease.

Sarah said the appeal is not to make profit for Chris, only to ensure the future of BHWR and its ‘amazing service’.

“He really is providing an amazing service to wildlife and the local community, and is an unsung hero and a very modest man,” she said.

“He doesn’t like asking for money, which is why he often ends up paying bills for the wildlife himself, and I think it would be a tragedy if the rescue were to close and hundreds of animals would die a year without his care.”

To make a pledge or donation to BHWR, contact Chris Tucker on 01424 225647 or at tuckerchris45@yahoo.co.uk.

You can also donate via PayPal on the rescue’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Bexhill.And.Hastings.Wildlife.Rescue, or to a gofundme page with £1,400 already pledged, www.gofundme.com/z9t4yffg.

Cheques can be made payable to Bexhill and Hastings Wildlife Rescue and sent to the charity’s current address at 23 Chantry Avenue, Bexhill, TN40 2EA.

You can also donate by BACS to BEXHILL WILDLIFE RESCUE, sort code: 77-63-17 and account number: 77654268.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.