A Bexley charity boss said she's "overjoyed" after a community club donated £25,000 to replace a disability bus which had been burned to the ground by suspected arsonists.

The Bexley Accessible Transport Scheme (BATS), which helps vulnerable pensioners get around at discounted rates, was left reeling after one of their specialist vehicles was set alight in Dartford Road, last month.

Police believed the incident to be an act of arson, leaving the charity feeling "devastated" as they scrambled to try and find funding to replace the van which had been reduced to ash and steel.

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The BATS bus was burned to the ground in Dartford Road. Credit: BATS

However, help was at hand as Welling Round Table stepped in to help the charity get back on it's feet with a whopping £25,000 donation to purchase a new, fit-for-purpose bus.

Speaking to News Shopper, CEO of BATS, Lorraine Evans told of her shock upon hearing the good news.

"It’s certainly been a rough few weeks for us.

"But then we received a phone call form the Welling Round Table who said they wanted to help.

"I actually cried when they told me that. It's such a generous offer," she said.

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Lorraine Evans, CEO of BATS. Credit: Welling Round Table

Ms Evans also said that with the amount they've received from the charitable group, the Scheme can now buy newer model which can hold more people, including more wheelchair space.

"One of our treasurers said to us 'it's gone from disaster to triumph'.

"If it wasn’t for them, we would still be in disaster," said Ms Evans.

The large contribution from Welling Round Table was the first of three to be made last weekend during the Great Welling Beer Festival.

In a statement the group said: "Friday saw the first donation of £25,000.00 to Bexley Accessible Transport Scheme who only last week were the victims of an arson attack and their purpose built bus was lost.

"Welling Round Table saw the appeals in the press and on social media for help and responded very swiftly with the money to get them back on the road in the next few days with a newer, purpose built bus."

Donations were also made to the Slade Green Knights, United Judo Club and to the Childrens Burns Club based in Chelmsford.

Ms Evans has also thanked the local community after more than £500 was collected in an

online fundraiser

to help get the route back on the road.