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The WCB: Our Timeline So Far...



JANUARY 2021 (FOUNDING) - Alana (Wildscaping Worldwide & UK Wildlife Transporters) began the founding of the WCB when she started phoning around Wildlife Rescuers & Vet Professionals, asking what everyone thought of ‘self regulated licensing’ for the Wildlife Rescue Industry.


Lucy Steele, Wild Things Rescue, brought on board the wonderful Liz Mullineaux, Wildlife Vet. Lucy also co-founded the WCB.


JANUARY 2021 - FEBRUARY 2022 (DEVELOPMENT) - The WCB was developed BY Wildlife Professionals FOR Wildlife Professionals.


The WCB was developed & launched by a united team of Wildlife Experienced Vets, Small 'Home Premises' Rehabbers, larger Wildlife Rescue Centres, General Practice Vets and other Wildlife Professionals. Efforts were made across various social media platforms to invite every Wildlife Rescue/Rehabber in the UK to be involved in the development. A lot of Wildlife Rehabbers/Vet Professionals attended, with a CORE TEAM attending most of the meetings & developing the WCB Badges.


[Whilst Alana project managed the development, Lucy Steele, Liz Mullineaux, Emily Elliott & Alexandra Smith were the dominant force providing the expert content that became the WCB first Badge, along with the other dominant developers, who provided expert content.]


JUNE 2021 (LEGAL CLARIFICATION) - The ‘Advice On The Capture & Keeping Of Disabled Wild Birds’ legal document (by Advocates For Animals Solicitors) was funded by Whitby Wildlife Rescue and Alana.


The reason for this was because, during the WCB development, it was clear that a universal understanding of the legalities of keeping wild birds captive was missing in the Wildlife Rescue Industry, so it was agreed that it was worth the investment to commission legal research into the topic. [This pdf can be found in the WCB Facebook Group Files Section.]


JANUARY 2021 - FEBRUARY 2022 ('RESCUE RELIEF' SESSIONS) - Alana had an idea for CF sessions, because she attended an online ‘sharing circle’ to provide support when her mum passed away and the structure, though so simple, offered such a space for release and understanding that Alana wanted to start providing the same structure as Compassion Fatigue Relief Sessions for Rehabbers & Vet Professionals.


June - August 2021 - 3 ‘Rescue Relief’ sessions were funded, with one more in March 2022, after the WCB launched.


[WE LAUNCHED!]


FEBRUARY 2022 (LAUNCH) - The WCB launched at the Secret World Wildlife Conference.  As a non Rehabber, working with the Wildlife Rescue Industry, Alana was invited to present an ‘Outsider's Overview’ which also involved introducing the WCB.





FEBRUARY - APRIL 2022 (KNOWLEDGE ASSESSMENT DEVELOPMENT) - Lucy Steele, Liz Mullineaux & other Wildlife Rehabbers united & worked extremely hard to develop & launch the WCB ‘Knowledge Assessments’.


KAs were for... Hedgehog specific Rehabbers, Bird specific Rehabbers, Small Mammal and Large Mammal specific Rehabbers and All Species Rehabbers.


FEBRUARY - APRIL 2022 (OPEN MEETINGS) - The WCB (overseen by Alana, Lucy, Emily & lots of other WCB Committee members) held regular online ‘open meetings’ on zoom where anyone could come and ask questions and find out about the WCB & decide whether to apply to become a Badge Holder or not.


MAY 2022 (OUR FIRST EXAMS!) - Our first Knowledge Assessments were held!





MAY 2022 (OUR FIRST BADGE HOLDER) - Our very first badge Holder, Beth Ragan, from Feline & Wildlife Rescue, Nottingham, was announced!  Beth is also a RVN and has gone on to contributing a lot towards helping Vet Practices & Rehabbers in wild bird care.





SEPTEMBER 2022 (FEEDBACK SYSTEM) - The WCB Committee, to further improve our ‘self regulation system’, launched our ‘Badge Holder Feedback System


OCTOBER 2022 (VET WILDLIFE SUPPORT PACKAGE) - Alana was aware that Vets Practices were finding themselves inundated with wildlife casualties by members of the public, who often dropped them off without warning.


When she spoke about this and asked for advice from Vet Professionals who also specialise in rehabilitating wildlife casualties, she found out that some of them had created bespoke guides, to help Vets across the country to feel more confident and comfortable in offering medical care to wildlife casualties. As such, Alana requested permission from a few Vet Professionals & organisations,  to create the ‘Vet Wildlife Support Package’.


The ‘Vet Wildlife Support Package’ is made up of…


A. A pdf guide from Vet Nurse, Beth Ragan (also Rehabber  at Feline & Wildlife Rescue) on how to treat birds within a Vet Practice.

B. A pdf guide from Hedgehog Helpline Founder Vet, Graham, on treating Hedgehogs in Vets Practices.

C. A collection of videos created by Born Free and Secret World (created by Vets, for Vets) to help Vets treat all species of wildlife casualties within Vet Practices.


[The VWSP has, up to now, been offered to 1500 Vet Practices]





DECEMBER 2022 - SEPTEMBER 2023 (WCB WEBINARS) - The WCB launched its first set of Webinars/Q&As...


We ran a Vet Professionals & Wildlife Rehabbers panel... A panel of individual wildlife experienced Vet Professionals (Vet Surgeons and Vet Nurses) talked about what it’s like (as Vet Professionals who work both in General Practice and either with Wildlife Rescues or as actual founders of their own Wildlife Rescues) to treat wildlife in practice.


We ran other WCB Webinars on... ‘Wildlife Rescue Organisational Policies’, ‘Helping Wild Birds In Practice’ and ‘Wildlife In Law’.




JANUARY 2023 (GROWING) - Alana was kindly invited to present about the Wildlife Care Badge at Brinsley Animal Rescue’s Training Weekend, for Rescues & Vets in the area.


FEBRUARY 2023 (PREDATOR PROOFING) - The WCB collaborated with Kevin, from Humane Wildlife Solutions.  Kevin started creating an invaluable set of 'Predator Proofing Advice' Templates, to help Wildlife Rescues & Vet Practices best know how to successfully predator proof their enclosures.





[OUR FIRST YEAR ANNIVERSARY]


FEBRUARY 2023 (CELEBRATION) - As part of our first year anniversary celebrations, Lucy Steele gave an online presentation on why she had co-founded the WCB and what, as a Rehabber, it meant to her.


MARCH 2023 - JANUARY 2024 (WILDLIFE CARER MEETINGS) - Alana started meetings called ‘Wildlife Professionals United Meetings’ to create a community for Vet Professionals and Rehabbers to specifically see if there are any logistical templates that can be set up to help Vet Practices and their local Wildlife Rescues work better together, to help wildlife.


3 meetings have been held so far (with a 4th scheduled for March 2024).  So far templates have been created to enable Vet Practices & Rehabbers to complement one another more, with more on the way.


MARCH 2023 - JANUARY 2024 (VET PROFESSIONALS MEETINGS) - Alana started meetings called Vet Professionals Self Support Network Meetings- a group for Vet Professionals to self create a formal, friendly national/regional network(s) so that the more wildlife experienced Vet Professionals in the network can be accessible and available to offer advice (either urgent or general) to those who would benefit from support, when wildlife casualties are dropped into Practices.


3 meetings have been held so far.  So far templates have been created to enable Vet Professionals to support one another more, with more planned in the future.


MAY 2022 - APRIL 2023 (BADGE HOLDERS SO FAR) - We have had 26 Badge Holders be awarded the RR&T Badge.


MARCH 2023 (OUR NEW LOGO) - The WCB logo was updated from new artwork to celebrate ALL of our UK wildlife (we love EVERY species that shares our spaces with us).





MARCH - DECEMBER 2023 (BAT BADGE DEVELOPMENT) - Development of the WCB Bat Badge started.  The WCB Bat Badge was launched in December 2023.


APRIL 2023 (WILD BIRD RIGHTS) - Lucy Steele & Alana Hurd became committed to wanting to know more about the legal rights of wild birds, especially with regards to the Avian Flu situation.  We wanted Wildlife Carers to also have access to a clearer picture.  We commissioned a Research/Advice document from Advocates For Animals on this topic which was published in April 2023.  It was funded part from donations & part by Lucy Steele.


APRIL 2023 (MORE COMPASSION FATIGUE SUPPORT SESSIONS) - Thanks to Lucy Steele having the idea & expertise to source funding from the National Lottery, through her CIC, Wilder Minds, the WCB was funded to provide twice weekly Compassion Fatigue relief Online Sessions for Wildlife Rehabbers & Vet Professionals.


Alana structured the sessions based on a sharing circle & ran them from April 2023 to December 2024.  [These are due to be restarted in spring 2024.]





MAY 2023 (OUR FIRST WCB RENEWALS) - Our first wave of WCB Badge Holder annual renewals happened.


AUGUST 2023 (GROWING MORE) - Alana organised & hosted a WCB ‘update’ online meeting for those who had found out about the WCB in the last year.  It featured...

- Alana, Providing an ‘outsider’s’ overview of the WCB.

- Emily Elliott - Providing her opinions on the WCB as a long term Wildlife Rehabber and Supervising Rehabber at a large RSPCA Wildlife Centre (representing herself, not the RSPCA).

- Beth Ragan - Providing her opinions on the WCB as a Vet Nurse and Wildlife Rehabber, particularly specialising in Birds.

- Heidi Hargreaves - Providing her opinions on the WCB as a Wildlife Vet & as the Veterinary Developer of the WCB Bat Badge.


SEPTEMBER 2023 (MENTAL WELL BEING RESEARCH) - Lucy Steele had the brilliant idea of researching mental health issues within the Wildlife Rescue Industry, to get a clearer idea of where support could be provided.  The research results can be found on her Wilder Minds website.


DECEMBER 2023 (EVOLVING) - With our second year anniversary looming, based on feedback, we evolved our WCB Knowledge Assessments to be even better, which was a lot of hard work on Lucy Steele’s part but she made it happen.  Lucy Steele also came up with the idea to produce a booklet (that she got printed, funded and posted herself) that Badge Holders could use, to help them keep records and submit them to the WCB as part of their ‘accountability’ processes.


DECEMBER 2023 ('WCB BAT BADGE' LAUNCHED)- The WCB Bat Badge launched.  The Developers were...  Heidi Hargreaves, Vet Surgeon & Bat Rehabber.  Ashley Dale, Ecologist & Wildlife Rehabber (specialising in Bats).  Alana Hurd, Project Manager.





JANUARY 2024 (GROWING MORE) - The WCB gave itself a website rebrand (making it even easier to keep up with progress & be involved).


JANUARY 2024 (WCB 2024 BADGE HOLDERS)- New WCB Holders applied, sat & passed their WCB Knowledge Assessments.  They are currently going through their Veterinary visit stage...


JANUARY 2024 (2024 WEBINARS) - Our WCB Webinars for 2024 have started, with the first 2 being by Jon Beresford, on ‘How To Fundraise’ and by Jacqui Wilmshurst MSc PhD CPSychol AFBPsS, on 'How To Say 'No’'.


We have a number of other Webinars lined up, on...  American Wildlife Regulation, Wildlife Crime, Wildlife Rescue Fostering Tiers, The Life Cycle Of Parasites & Health & Safety In The Rescue Industry.


FEBRUARY 2024 (GIVEAWAY) - Our first WCB giveaway.  Lucy Steele had the great idea to provide a boost to Wildlife Rescues by launching a ‘giveaway’ where one lucky Rescue won a copy of the BSAVA Wildlife Manual.  [This was generously funded by Lucy herself.]


[WE'RE CELEBRATING OUR SECOND YEAR ANNIVERSARY]





We have lots more exciting plans & here's a reminder on Who/What the WCB is...


WHAT'S THE WCB ABOUT, NOW & ONGOING?

At the heart of our WCB efforts is the developing of a UK Wildlife Rescuers Map that features proven Wildlife Rescues/Rehabbers who can confidently offer knowledgeable, high welfare rehabilitative care to wildlife casualties & orphans.  This is so that members of the public, Vet Professionals and even other Wildlife Rehabbers can know who they can confidently pass poorly/orphaned wildlife to, across the UK, for high welfare care.

 

All of our efforts are - at their core - about striking a balance between the well being of Wildlife Rescuers & wildlife themselves, to ensure that those who rehab/treat wildlife are as supported as possible in their efforts and to also equally ensure that wildlife casualties/orphans across the UK always get the medical and rehabilitative care that they deserve.

 

This entails, in part... Enabling Wildlife Rescues/Rehabbers to have strong working relationships with Vets. Enabling Vet Practices to grow their wildlife knowledge and adapt their practices to offer reliable medical care to the wildlife that THEY take in.  Supporting both industry sections with Compassion Fatigue & other practical support.


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Here's to another wonderful year, from all of us at the WCB...








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