A hospice is offering a free furniture collection service using a new van in a bid to collect donations for its charity shops.

St Clare Hospice in Hastingwood launched the new van service this week, which is expected to travel more than 18,000 across west Essex and east Hertfordshire this year collecting unwanted furniture.

Donations will be delivered to one of the charity’s eight shops in the area and donations will go towards helping to provide care at the hospice.

The hospice’s head of retail, Fiona Eaton, said: “We are delighted to have our new van on the road and are eager to encourage more local people to donate their good quality furniture to us.

“The van travels up and down West Essex and East Herts – from Saffron Walden, Thaxted and Dunmow in the north of our patch, to Bishop’s Stortford, Epping, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill in the south.

“Donations of furniture are an absolutely vital source of income for St Clare, and our new van and online booking facility will make it easier than ever before to donate your quality items of furniture to St Clare.”

The hospice is also looking for a local business to cover the cost of new graphics on the van, in return for advertising space.

To book a furniture collection, call 01279 639760 or visit: stclarehospice.org.uk/furniture. To find out more about sponsoring the van, call Fiona Eaton on: 01279 773732.