This week we have been able to donate £207.49 to the Bat Conservation Trust, bringing our total for the year to £357.26 for this charity. This money will contribute towards the National Bat Helpline - a national service answering questions from householders, professionals and other people interested in, or concerned about bats. The helpline is largely run by volunteers, so our donations will help make a big difference. Thank you to all our customers and supporters for making this possible. Without you, our much needed donations would not be possible. Our range of bat products continue to be our best sellers, which is great news for our bats!
National Bat Helpline
The National Bat Helpline fielded a total of 15,019 enquiries (calls, emails and letters) in 2014;
· 11,908 were dealt with by Helpline staff.
· 2,163 came through the Out Of Hours volunteer service.
· 948 were switchboard enquiries that were forwarded on to other BCT staff.
In 2015 the Helpline has been busier than ever with a record numbers of calls!
The National Bat Helpline is available on 0345 1300 228 between 9.00am and 5.30pm on weekdays all year round, with an ‘out of hours’ service provided during the summer, thanks to the help of trained volunteers.
A large percentage (27%) of the enquiries received on the Helpline concern bats that have been found by members of the public. In 2014, the Helpline received 6,331 enquiries about bats in distress. Callers are given advice on safely containing a bat and emergency care until the animal can be seen by a vet or experienced bat rehabilitator. The Helpline supports a network of experienced volunteer bat care contacts (carers, ambulance drivers, hospitals and regional helplines), who are willing to be referred enquiries about bats in need of care.
Bats are a very specialist subject and often local vets or wildlife hospitals do not have the experience or knowledge necessary to deal with an injured bat. So the BCT are extremely fortunate that so many volunteers are willing to have enquiries referred to them from their area. Many dedicate significant time to driving around to pick up bats, giving training in bat care to other group members, talking to members of the public, collecting supplies and feeding very young bats throughout the day and night. The BCT currently have over 300 active bat care contacts on our list. In addition, 15 regional helplines are listed on their website. The BCT continue to assist people in getting involved in bat care: in 2014, 59 new volunteers joined the UK Bat Care Network as trainees, and 33 became active as bat carers or ambulance drivers.
Congratulations to the BCT and all their volunteers for providing such a wonderful and important service. It is certain that many bats would not survive without the advice and quick actions of the helpline and bat care volunteers, and we highly commend you! Congratulations!