A HAULAGE company has donated a service van to a street café so it can more easily transport food and other donations for rough sleepers.

Sharon Multani, who runs Worcester Street Café, started a campaign in July hoping to raise £4,000 to buy a van so volunteers no longer have to use their own vehicles.

Martin Pinches, of M. Pinches & Sons Transport, based at Blackpole Trading Estate West, saw her plea in the Worcester News before donating the van and even having a logo painted on it.

Ms Multani said the van would mean donated food and other items could be easily transported in one go to the café, situated outside the old fire station in Copenhagen Street.

“It’s the first time we will be able to take stuff in comfort and I’ll have a car back,” she said.

“Everywhere we go we have to load, unload, load – what it means now is I will be able to fill it up once a week, all the plates, all the spoons, get another table, the clothes we give out.

“Anything we need we can take properly and not in dribs and drabs. It takes far too long.”

The 58-year-old, who set up the café nearly two years ago, now has around 20 volunteers who cook meals on a rota basis and serve food Monday to Thursday, between 7.30pm and 8.30pm.

Food is also donated by Pret a Manger and Greggs in the city centre, while the Brunswick Arms and Royal Oak at Leigh Sinton have also made donations and raised funds for the project.

Mr Pinches said he held a meeting with his two brothers Peter and Kevin, as well as mum and dad Janet and Mervyn – all company directors, regarding what they could do to help.

“We had a vehicle that is available – surplus to requirements – in our fleet and thought it would be a nice gesture to get involved and donate it,” he said.

“We are a local Worcester-based company and it’s something nice to put back into Worcester.”

Regarding the donation, Ms Multani said: “I’m thrilled beyond words because my car has had to be full to the brim for the last 20 months.

“I got a phone call [from Martin] saying we might be able to help you, and I thought, lovely, a tenner or something. To get a whole van is unbelievable.”

She is now set to have a few lessons getting used to driving it, before putting it into action in a couple of weeks.

Search Worcester Street Cafe on Facebook to see how you can get involved.