A hospice in Northfleet that was targeted by thieves has been "overwhelmed" after £10,000 was raised to get essential minibuses back on the road.

Thieves stole exhaust parts from two specialist minibuses at Ellenor hospice in Coldharbour Road on January 30.

The catalytic converters were taken were taken from the exhausts, rendering the minibuses inoperable and leaving dozens of patients unable to access the hospice's services.

However, thousands of pounds was quickly fundraised by the community - and the hospice received hundreds of offers of help.

Jacquie Hackett, director of patient care, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our local community, and their passionate support to Ellenor.

"We raised an incredible £10,000 and would like to offer our sincerest thanks to everyone in the community who donated to our JustGiving page enabling us to continue our vital care - their generosity will make a real difference.

"Both minibuses are now back on the road and will enable us to offer Ellenor patients improved access to our personalised care."

Ellenor provides support for patients facing terminal illness or life limiting conditions, and for their families.

The minibuses are driven by volunteers who collect patients who may be very ill or have mobility problems.

More than 300 people donated to the hospice following the theft, with many leaving messages of support for the work the hospice does.

One person said: "Keep up the good work. Hopefully these idiots will be caught."

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said the theft was reported to have happened between 4pm on January 30 and 8am on Wednesday, January 31.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police on 01474 366 149.