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vanHope Nature Centre volunteers can get back out on the road again, after a vehicle company gave the Southwick-based non-profit organisation a new van.

Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions delivered one of its vans – which had previously been out on a three-year-lease to the NHS – to the centre on Monday, rather than selling it, as would normally happen.

Employees from the local Hitachi branch – which moved to its new £7m office campus on the White Horse Business Park in July – voted the nature centre as the charity they wanted to receive the van.

28wt18van.jpg pwrt2The centre, which helps young adults with learning difficulties to develop work and life skills, had been without a van to pick up supplies for over a year, with volunteers using their own vehicles in the meantime. Tom James, chairman of Hope Nature Centre, said: “We have been without a van since August last year as our old one broke down and it would have cost too much to fix it.

“We thought we could get by without it and use our own cars to pick up animal food and other supplies, but it has proved far more difficult than we anticipated, so I thought I would see if Hitachi could help.

“They have been really great and this new van will be a huge benefit to us. It will be used to transport supplies and we can also pull our horse box. It will just make our lives a whole lot easier.”

Based in the Southwick Country Park, Hope Nature Centre, which provides work placements for 30 young adults, has a popular cafe and small animal centre.

Jon Lawes, managing director of Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions, said: “The national company recently gave two vehicles to Marie Curie, but it is also important to help the local causes.

 

“Our staff wanted to support a local charity, so we had a vote and the Hope Nature Centre came out on top.

“Many employees use the facilities and they appreciate the fantastic work the volunteers do.

“It’s good for the business to support a local charity and our staff from the preparation centre cleaned the vehicle and carried out a full service before handing it over, so hopefully it serves them well.”

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Hope Nature Centre . Southwick Country Park . Frome Road . Southwick . Wiltshire . BA14 9QD . 01225 759075 . info@hopenaturecentre.org.uk