An incredible fundraising effort has meant a vital service for the elderly can afford a new minibus.

Halstead Day Care centre has successfully raised the £36,000 for a new mini bus which will transport the 80 elderly people who use the centre, in Bridge Street, on various trips throughout the year, including to the centre’s beach hut in Brightlingsea.

Fundraiser and manager at the centre Veronica Harman said: “We have two mini buses and I like to replace each one every seven years to ensure that they are up to date with all the most current safety features.”

The money was raised through grants from the Halstead’s WI, Colchester Catalyst, Big Lottery, and the members and their families.

Mrs Harrison added: “The minbus is very important to the people at the centre as one of our main aims to be break down social isolation in older people and the mini buses facilitate this.”