All wild animals that come into the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), our Surrey-based wildlife hospital, are treated and rehabilitated completely free of charge. Our aim is to return every animal that is capable of surviving, back to its natural environment. We are not species specific and will treat any form of British wildlife.
There are several ways to become involved with the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), one of which is to have a look at – and becoming involved in – some of our active animal care campaigns, under the Get Involved tab. One such campaign is focused on the ever-decreasing hedgehog population, “Saving Harry”.
Another way to help the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) is by joining our team, by either volunteering or applying for a job. Working at the centre can be incredibly rewarding and we are always in need of new volunteers. You can see some of the amazing people who work with us, already, below. Be sure to visit our Volunteers’ page and working for WAF page.
Finally, one of the most important ways that you can contribute to the animals’ welfare is by visiting our adoption pages to adopt an animal, such as a fox, hedgehog or badger. The cost of each adoption goes directly towards the care of our patients, whether by way of specialist medicines or life-saving surgeries.
Here at the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), we do not believe that it is right to keep any wild animal in captivity, so, if, despite our every effort, an animal cannot be returned to the wild to live a full and healthy life, we will afford that animal the dignity of a peaceful and pain-free death in a warm and comfortable environment. Every day, however, the care and dedication of our volunteers allows us to see remarkable recoveries that, otherwise, would not have been possible.
Why do we need the Wildlife Aid Foundation?
In Britain, we are fortunate to enjoy a huge diversity of native animals and birds, but, every year, millions of these animals are killed, injured or suffer some trauma, either as a result of direct contact with man or the impact that we have on the environment.
Our aim is to help redress the balance between man and nature and to play our part in preserving our heritage for future generations to enjoy. While there are many organisations and schemes dedicated to the vital work of preserving natural habitats, there are still very few who help preserve the species that live within them. Here at the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), we are dedicated to the rescue, care and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.
Preserving the balance of nature
Through history, we have seen how the impact of losing one species can have devastating effects on the whole ecosystem and there may be even more long-term effects that, as yet, we still do not fully understand.
Each and every animal plays its own part in preserving the balance of nature. At the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), no British wild animal, from any species, is ever turned away if it needs our help.
Helping others to help Wildlife
As a centre of excellence dealing with all native species, we receive thousands of phone calls, letters and e-mails asking for advice and help, from vets, schools, members of the public and other charities and organisations.
We are always available to offer what help and support we can. We provide work experience for students from across the country and liaise regularly with agricultural and training establishments on the content of the wildlife section of animal care courses. Whatever the problem, if it concerns British wildlife, we will find the answer.
Education is vital to our future
At the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), we believe passionately in the importance of education in helping to preserve our heritage.
Through school talks, presentations, our website and many other means of communication, we play an active role in helping future generations understand and learn about threats to Britain’s wild animals, what we can all do to help, and environmental issues that affect us all.
Our teamJoin us as a volunteer
Simon Cowell - CEO/Founder
The Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) originated in the 1980s as a small local wildlife rescue charity but has grown since then into one of the UK’s leading environmental and animal welfare organisations.
The charity was started by Simon Cowell, who still heads it three decades later, both in a very practical ‘hands on’ way and as the Foundation’s Managing Trustee. When he’s not actively fundraising or promoting the Foundation’s work, Simon still goes out in the middle of the night on rescues and is actively involved in the day-to-day care of the animals in our veterinary hospital and rehab centre.
Lou Cowell - Deputy CEO
Wildlife Aid has been a major part of Lou’s life from the moment she was born. As founder Simon Cowell’s eldest daughter, no one knows the inner workings of The Foundation better than Lou.
Having grown up alongside the charity – from young hedgehogs kept warm in the airing cupboard situated in her childhood bedroom, to the exponential growth of an organisation, now, internationally renowned – Lou has been there every step of the way.
From assisting her parents’ vision in the form of feeding young orphaned wildlife and cleaning out cages until she left home, Lou came on board, in an official capacity, over twelve years ago. Lou, now, works alongside her father, sharing his ambition to realise The Wildlife Aid Foundation’s aim of caring for any sick, injured or orphaned British wildlife and helping to redress the balance between Man and nature.
Alice Serras-Carroll - Office Manager
Having been fascinated by animals and the environment from a young age, Alice was always a big fan of ‘Wildlife SOS’; little did she know that she would, one day, work at the centre in Leatherhead.
As well as her passion for wildlife, Alice has a keen interest in news and, after studying journalism and history, considered a career as a journalist. A naturally vivacious character, though, Alice was soon snapped up by the cinema and events industry, where she remained for ten years, before deciding she wanted to do something more meaningful. Initially managing a dog training centre, the charity world soon came calling and she embarked upon lending her expertise to International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals (IAPWA).
After volunteering for The Wildlife Aid Foundation in her spare time, Alice quickly realised she wanted to be more involved and jumped at the opportunity to join the WAF team, full time.
Sally jones - Lead Veterinary Surgeon
In my former life, I was a qualified accountant but simultaneously volunteered with an emergency cat rescue charity throughout my twenties and early thirties. It was, therefore, no surprise that when I applied for vet med, it was with the sole intention of working as a charity vet. However, it was while living in Australia over a decade ago (yup, still working with that emergency cat charity in the UK!) and gaining work experience to apply for vet school that I fell in love with wildlife. I started volunteering at my local wildlife hospital near Brisbane – initially on husbandry, then as a hospital nurse auxiliary – and it’s been wildlife all the way for me ever since. On moving back to the UK it was purely by chance I happened upon Wildlife Aid, having moved over this side of the country to be near friends and honestly never expecting to find a bona fide wildlife hospital in the UK.
I joined WAF as a volunteer back in 2013, then became a hospital auxiliary. I never dreamed I’d be lucky enough to be offered the job as full-time vet here! Outside WAF, I live with my husband Nick and our 5 cats (all ‘broken’ ones from my cat charity … that’s something Nick is VERY grateful for with this job: no threat of me arriving home with another poor wee soul needing a home!!).
Naomi Turner - Hospital Coordinator
Naomi has always been a devout animal lover and spent her childhood looking after a wide variety of family pets. This love of animals was the reason she chose to study animals and conservation at college and university.
Deciding that helping wildlife, directly, and protecting its natural habitat was what she wanted to dedicate her career to, Naomi began by assisting with wildlife survey work. Alongside trained persons, she worked to survey reptiles, amphibians, bats and dormice, learning a lot about the natural behaviours and needs of endangered British wildlife, as well as the dangers it faces due to human intervention. This strengthened her want to help wildlife even further.
Naomi became a volunteer at WAF in 2010, where she gained hands-on experience helping injured and sick British wildlife. With qualifications in animal care, behaviour, welfare, ecology and conservation, in addition to several years of volunteer work with the charity, Naomi has able knowledge and experience to help rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned wildlife alongside WAF’s vet team.
You could be here! -
There are so many ways to become a Team Member at WAF! Click here to have a look at some of our current vacancies.