A £3,000 grant is helping to keep a team of volunteer drivers, who support those receiving cancer treatment, on the road during the coronavirus crisis.

Newcastle Building Society has given the grant to Tynedale Hospice at Home through its Hexham branch to help cover the running costs of the transport service.

The service is continuing to operate during the outbreak after additional measures were put in place to safeguard both patients’ and drivers’ health.

The free transport service, which is available to anyone living within an area of around 800 square miles, involves a 29-strong team of volunteer drivers chauffeuring patients to and from any of a dozen different treatment centres across the North East for radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions.

The funding has been provided by the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which was set up to offer grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society's branch network, and put forward for support by its customers.

Hannah Samuel, manager at Newcastle Building Society's Beaumont Street branch, said: “Playing an active role in our communities is a core part of who we are and we’re very proud to be supporting such an important local organisation, especially when the current situation is making the challenges that Hospice clients are facing that much harder.”