Sunderland hospice thrilled with electric vehicle donation

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A Sunderland hospice is “over the moon” after receiving a brand-new car from a leading dealership in the city.

Evans Halsaw, on Wessington Way, has donated an electric car to St Benedict’s Hospice to help the charity with their patient transportation service.

The top-of the -range ENU 200 Combi people carrier - worth around £23,000 - was presented to the charity at an event held at the dealership on Thursday night, celebrating its revamped premises.

Evans Halshaw manager Alan Sedman said he had personal experience with hospice services so the charity is one close to his heart

He said: “As a company we have a local footprint and we need to help the local community in Sunderland. It’s not just about cars.

“It all stemmed from the charity asking to enter a team in their golf tournament. We got talking and I heard about the patient transportation service.”

Catrina Flynn, fundraising manager for St Benedict’s Hospice, said they were ‘overwhelmed’ by the firm’s generosity.

“We’re absolutely delighted,” Ms Flynn said.

“The car will be used for a variety of things such as taking patients on days out and taking them from the hospice to hospital. It was only three weeks ago that we started talking with Evans Halshaw about this, so were thrilled.

“We’re a local hospice serving the community of Sunderland and district areas - so it’s local people helping local people.”

The hospice, which provides specialist palliative care for people with serious illnesses, launched the service after its 30th anniversary in March.

The transportation service is lead by transport co-ordinator Irwin Smart and carried out by volunteer drivers.

“Having two vehicles will allow us a great deal of flexibility,” Ms Flynn added. “It is so generous of Evan Halshaw and this is the start of a really good relationship.”