Local Grassroots litter picking charity, Aylesbury Wombles, has received a sponsored van from a local funeral firm.
Legacy Funeral Services has provided the litter pickers with a Citroën Belingo – with insurance and tax paid too.
The charity will continue its own fundraising efforts to raise money to purchase an electric van of its own.
Having a van allows volunteers to collect greater rubbish and transport litter more efficiently to drop off points. The charity also plans to use the van to store equipment.
"This is just fantastic! We won’t be struggling anymore,’ said Richard Walker, chairman of Aylesbury Wombles. ‘We can’t thank Legacy Funeral Services enough."
He said with a vehicle to consolidate their equipment, which includes jackets, litter picking sticks, hoops, bags and waders, the group can now plan bigger projects, such as large-scale
clean-ups on Aylesbury housing estates.
The charity also hopes to complete school visits when pupils return in September, as part of a cleaning up and caring for the environment programme.
"We can litter pick on another level entirely,’ said Mr Walker. ‘We’re going to register as a charity to help us access funds for an electric van, but for now we’re so happy and relieved to receive this interim van."
Aylesbury Wombles contacted various local media groups explaining the importance of getting a van for its litter picking projects. The Bucks Herald featured the Wombles campaign last month.
It was through this media campaign that Legacy Funeral Services became aware of the charity's needs.
James Burrett, Legacy Funeral Service’s director, said: "I saw they were looking for a van and I thought of one we have for memorial cleaning but which isn’t used very often. It seemed
appropriate to lend it out, especially as it will be going towards helping a very worthwhile cause.
"We think the Aylesbury Wombles do wonderful things by collecting litter. We believe it’s really important to support the community."
The Aylesbury Wombles formed in June 2019 and families, teenagers and children, as well as Duke of Edinburgh participants, take part in weekly organised litter-picks in Aylesbury.
This year alone they have collected 3814 bags of rubbish. They would like to buy a combi electric van, similar to a Nissan e-NV200.