A LONGSTANDING support-er of Prospect Hospice has handed over a welcome cash boost raised through the sale of unwanted items left by visitors to Blunsdon Market’s car boot sales over 2012.

Maurice Mapson handed over the cheque for £4,645 to the fundraising team at the hospice earlier this month.

For Maurice, the sum raised in 2012 is the largest since the introduction of his innovative recycling scheme more than five years ago.

He said: “We have a car boot sale at Blunsdon Market three days every week and we often found that what people didn’t sell would just get binned.

“I thought that it was always possible that someone might be interested in these items, so we left them on a stall with an honesty box. Over the years it’s just grown and grown, and we have been delighted to raise so much money just from things that would otherwise have been thrown away.”

In the years during which Maurice has overseen the scheme, more than £14,000 has been raised for Prospect Hospice by the recycled goods stall at the market. Maurice believes that the reputation of the local hospice has been crucial to the support generated at the market.

“Everyone knows someone who has been cared for by Prospect Hospice, and because of that people generally put an appropriate donation into the box,” he said.

“I know that the traders feel as strongly about it as I do, and many of them gave items towards the raffle that raised a further £300 before Christmas.

“In many ways, Prospect has become seen as our charity; we will run the recycling scheme again this year and will hopefully raise even more in 2013.”

Maurice visited the hospice in the early days of January to deliver the cash raised in 2012, accompanied by stallholder Karl Reader who not only ran the recycling stall while Maurice recovered from an operation just before Christmas 2011, but also tests all electrical items before they are included for sale on the stall.

Prospect Hospice’s community fundraiser Amy Francombe said: “We are delighted that Maurice has returned this January with the money raised by the people who support the stall at Blunsdon market.

“Our thanks go out to Maurice and all the traders, and also all the customers who so generously support this fundraising initiative. Their support makes a real difference to our care.”