You can be part of something special at Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary

I, Alexandra Smith, Founder of WWS, began WWS’s journey through volunteering at my local veterinary practice.

Members of the public would take wildlife casualties to them but vet practices don’t have the facilities to keep so many wild animals long term. I would offer to help by taking in a few. ‘I have a couple of spare cages at home’, I would say. I quickly learnt that this service was desperately needed in our area.

Word soon spread that I was taking in wildlife casualties to help make them better. Over time, this work grew and became busier and busier. By this time I had gone through university and was a primary school teacher, juggling both wildlife and teaching. A couple of years of this and I made the decision to leave teaching and concentrate on the charity full time. It was a service that people and our local wildlife needed. We started to recruit volunteers to help, we became a registered charity and after a few more years of scrimping and saving, we were able to obtain a mortgage for the land we are on today – to protect the charity for years to come.

Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary now takes several thousand wildlife casualties and orphans a year, with a team of around 150 volunteers that work tirelessly to rescue, transport and care for all these animals. We also have volunteers running a charity shop in town at 46 Flowergate, Whitby, raising vital funds for our work. It is really amazing how far WWS has come and we are excited to see it continue to grow.

Our volunteers are the backbone of our work. We just couldn’t have achieved all this without them. All across the North East, people give us their spare time to keep Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary operating. Over 150 volunteers are working together to create a wildlife rehabilitation centre we can all be proud of and you can be a part of it too! We are currently recruiting volunteers to help run our new Charity Shop.

We open up new charity shop at 46 Flowergate on Saturday 22nd June. We are very excited for this! For the last 6 years we have had a diddy little shop on Haggersgate and it has served us well but we were in desperate need of more space and a few months ago we managed to secure a lease at the old TSB Bank next door to Poundland. It has been a lot of hard work as the building had been left derelict, but we’ve now repaired and renovated it, making it such a lovely, inviting space. If you are interested in joining the shop team, we would love to hear from you!

You can get in touch with the sanctuary by  emailing:

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