VOLUNTEERS who were looking to raise money to buy a new van for their charity have been given a surprise present.

Martin McCloughlin, who runs Bolton NICE, had appealed to the public for help getting a new vehicle to allow the group to help more people around the borough.

The charity wanted the small van so that volunteers could continue to provide food, clothes and furniture to struggling families who cannot travel to their office.

And, in a stunning show of goodwill, Muhammed Bari, who helps NICE as a volunteer Community Champion in Bury, has handed over a vehicle completely free.

"He turned up outside with a friend of his and they told me to come and see what they had brought," Mr McCloughlin explained.

"I went out and saw this van, it was stickered up with our logo on and it's got an MOT already. It was fantastic and a huge surprise."

Not only has the van been provided for free, but money to pay for the road tax has been donated by a number of residents who heard of the charity's plight and housing association Bolton at Home have agreed to pay the insurance.

"Now we have got the flexibility to do more visits and help a lot more people," Mr McCloughlin added.

"Our problem is that we don't get funding so getting diesel and putting this van on the road with insurance, tax and an MOT is tough. So to have all this help is brilliant.

"Sometimes the people of Bolton surprise you. Over the last nine years whenever we have needed help somebody's always come forward and helped us."