We run a 24/7 rescue and rehabilitation service for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife. We operate in Wiltshire and the surrounding counties. In 2019 we helped over 4,000 animals and this number is increasing every year.
Who we are
We are Mike and Marilyn Korkis and we run the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital, which was founded 27 years ago. We have dedicated our lives to helping wildlife in need and our charity relies totally on volunteer support and public donations to keep running. We work every day of the year and no animal is turned away.
"Our wildlife is in trouble and we are on the frontline of that crisis, picking up the pieces and giving these creatures a second chance".
We are extremely excited to report that we received £20,000 sponsorship for one of our rooms today (Christmas Eve) - more details about this soon. We could not have asked for a better Christmas gift. The donor was very keen for the money to be given straight to us so that every penny would benefit the wildlife we help. In addition to this £20,000 we have also received a further £2,000 in direct donations. This takes our total raised to £25,310! Thank you to everyone who has helped us so far.
Please DO still support us. Every donation helps no matter how large or small.
Why we need your help
Our current building is struggling to cope with the number of animals that we now have to deal with. It is cramped, tired, hard to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Everything is old and worn out from years of constant use. We simply haven’t had the time or the resources to keep updating the facilities, while we are caring for all the animals. And while we have an incredible network of volunteers, we cannot have more than a few people here working at any one time, there just isn’t the room. In spite of all this we ensure that we give every animal the care it needs, but we know we can do it better if we can just improve our facilities.
This fundraising is critical for the long term future of the hospital. We cannot stop what we are doing, too many animals depend on us. We want to be able to offer a service that our wildlife deserves and create a legacy for future generations.
We were so thrilled that Dame Judi Dench has offered her time, for free, to help us with this campaign. She visited us during the summer, with her partner David Mills MBE, and was so struck with what we do that she agreed to help us on the spot. By lending her name to our campaign she has given us the vital head start we need.
What this funding will provide
Reaching our overall goal of £250,000 will enable us to build a brand new hospital next door to the steel-framed barn that we use at the moment. This means we can provide continuity of service for the animals during the development. Once we are able to move into the new hospital, we can redevelop our current barn, creating bigger pens for the large mammals, as well as aviaries, a rest room and kitchenette for our volunteers, and the dry secure storage we need for food and bedding materials.
The new hospital will have:
- Assessment and Treatment Room
We need a designated area for examining and assessing new arrivals away from the other animals and volunteers working in the hospital. Depending on our funding levels this could include an area where a vet could perform minor procedures and a small x-ray machine.
- Intensive Care Room
We currently have one small intensive care room and this is always full to capacity with hedgehogs in the winter, and nestling birds in the summer months. We can also have birds of prey, aquatic birds, bats, leverets and amphibians in the same room. This room is kept at a steady temperature and is vital for those animals that are extremely poorly or hurt and need a high level of scrutiny and care. The new hospital will allow us to keep this room solely for those that are in desperate need.
A very important aspect of our work is caring for very young orphaned wild animals. These can arrive with us for a number of reasons. For example in the spring and summer we have hundreds of nestlings to hand-rear. This is a very intensive process and we currently have to house them in our intensive care room which can get very busy and crowded.
- 2 x Hedgehog (and other small mammal) Rooms
These rooms will be specifically for those animals that are out of danger but still need warmth, extra feeding or time to grow before they can be released. The most numerous animal we care for are hedgehogs, with over 1,400 staying with us during 2019. They take up a lot of room and require a lot of daily care. We need dedicated space for them (and other small mammals).
- Large Animal Room
This dedicated space will be for some of our larger patients that require intensive care upon arrival. This can include foxes, badgers, otters and large birds like swans and ducks.
- Bird Room
This room will house all of our feathered patients. This can vary hugely from ducks and pigeons, to herons, seabirds like gannets, as well as owls, buzzards, kestrels and other birds of prey.
Redeveloping our Barn
Once we have moved into the new hospital the old metal-framed barn can be gutted and redeveloped. This will involve rodent proofing the floors and walls and creating large secure pens for our bigger patients such as deer, badgers and foxes. These pens signal a vital addition to our hospital enabling us to manage the step from hospitalisation to release much more efficiently. By giving these animals more room and less human contact, they can prepare for their life back in the wild while still receiving some food and protection from us.
We will also be able to create new aviaries for our birds to get their flight muscles stronger before release. Being able to put these young or recovering birds in safe space to exercise their wings prior to release will greatly increase their chances of survival.
A vital facility we will be able to add in this redevelopment will be a rest room and kitchenette for our team of volunteers. Having somewhere warm and quiet away from the animals where they can eat lunch, take a call or make a cup of tea, is going to be a very welcome addition.
And lastly we can create new secure storage areas for the huge amounts of food, bedding and veterinary supplies we need to look after so many animals as well as a laundry service space for cleaning and drying all the towels needed for the cages.
Can you help us with a materials or labour?
One of the other ways in which we need support, and that will help reduce our overall costs, is from donations of labour and materials?
We need assistance with or donations for:
- Planning and surveying consultancy
- Groundworks (including clearance, foundations, services)
- Main build (including materials/fixtures and fittings/equipment (cages/shelving/storage containers)
We would like our build to be as environmentally friendly as possible and welcome support and advice from any organisation that specialises in this area of work. We want to future-proof our build so this hospital lasts for the animals, the County and the community for many years to come.
Thank you for your support
Any amount will help towards our fundraising, no matter how small or large. We appreciate times are hard. Anything you can afford will be greatly appreciated.
If you are a larger donor, and would like to sponsor a part of our build, or have an individual room or area named after you or your organisation, please do get in touch.
Thank you for reading and your support.
Mike and Marilyn Korkis and the Volunteers of the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital.