Hospice van theft sparks phenomenal response on social media
News that the 3.5 tonne Ford Transit Luton van was stolen from the driveway of a driver's Cranham home on January 6 triggered a phenomenal response from shocked supporters when it was posted on Saint Francis Hospice's Facebook and Twitter site.
The post was then shared with more than 3,600 people and led to information and a sighting of the van being passed on to police.
Sadly it still hasn't been recovered, but it spurred businesses into action with Fords stepping in to offer the loan of a van while the insurance is going through.
And Matt Bunn from Vanlocks in Upminster supplied and fitted new deadlocks on our seven other vehicles on Tuesday (January 19th), saving the charity more than £1,000.
"It was my pleasure to help the hospice," said Matt.
"I saw it on Facebook and I thought I would offer my services.
"Vans get stolen all the time but to steal from a charity is really low and I wanted to help."
Cranham resident Sarah Chapman was also inspired to set up a Just Giving page to raise funds and in less than a week £650 was donated to the hospice.
The £16,000 van was used for household clearances, picking up and delivering items to our charity shops to sell as well as delivering large and bulky items to our customers.
"Our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who has come forward to lend their support following the theft," said Michelle Nicholls, General Manager Retail.
"The hospice has always attracted the most wonderful supporters who go to great lengths to help in any way they can and we never take their loyalty for granted.
"Without them the charity would not be able to raise the £7.3m it needs every year to cover its running costs."
If anyone has seen the white van, registration number NU62 KCA, or has any information that may lead to its recovery please call Michelle on 01708 376 269 or call the police.