A TAXI firm which is offering free transport for the vulnerable to be vaccinated has been left 'disappointed' after its advertising vehicle had its windows smashed.

Prudhoe-based Galaxy Taxis has been working with Prudhoe Medical Group and Branch End Surgery to offer free rides to the Ponteland vaccine site for those unable to get there any other way - an offer they insist will continue until all priority patients have been jabbed.

And while drivers had been working hard, the company's advertising van was damaged.

"We couldn't quite believe it", said Andrew Miller, who runs the business alongside Peter Cowell. "It's disappointing really. We didn't do it for praise [the free transport] but I don't think we quite deserve for someone to come along and do this.

"We can't let it stop what we're doing. Windows can be fixed."

Galaxy Taxis is part of the PCL Travel Group, which operates a coach and mini-bus hire service out of Cameron Road, and was formally Sky Taxis, Globe Taxis and Lawson Cabs.

Andrew added: "You can't tar everybody with the same brush, some people will do things like this. You just have to remind yourself that not everybody will and most people are so happy and grateful for what we're doing.

"If we'd been a company which didn't have a bit of finance behind us, that could have really caused a major issue which would have then stopped us supporting and providing help for the community; think of that before you start vandalising things."

The business' van has been parked in a number of different locations across the district. "It'll be back out there again, hopefully not for the same thing to happen again."

Northumbria Police was contacted for comment.