Essex

Corringham milkman Paul Luke delivers festive cheer

Paul Luke delivering presents Image copyright Bee Kind Foundation
Image caption Mr Luke delivers some Christmas gifts to the residents of The Whitecroft care home, near Orsett

A self-confessed milk fanatic is delivering festive cheer to 3,500 vulnerable people this Christmas on his float.

Paul Luke, 41, has been fundraising all year to buy presents for elderly people in care homes, mental health patients and families in housing refuges.

Mr Luke, from Corringham, Essex, raised the money with The Bee Kind Foundation, which supports local good causes.

The milkman, who runs Ecofresh Dairy, said he wanted to "do something nice".

Many of the presents are "useful" low-cost items like keyring torches, adult colouring books and hair bands, he said.

Some of the gifts have been donated, but overall the foundation has spent about £2,000 buying the goodies.

Image caption Mr Luke with the milk float bringing festive cheer to south Essex

"You know you're doing the right thing when people who might not even know it's Christmas are ripping the paper off their presents with big smiles on their faces," said Mr Luke.

"It's so rewarding.

"Everyone thinks of children and animals at Christmas, but we wanted to do something for the forgotten elements of society."

Image copyright Ecofresh
Image caption The reusable glass bottles promote The Bee Kind Foundation's fundraising drives

Mr Luke's purple electric milk float - once owned by Cadbury's - is a common sight on the streets of Thurrock, and the glass bottles he uses carry positive messages and promote the foundation's fundraising drives.

He also has a milk bottle "museum" with more than 12,000 bottles in his garden.

Mr Luke, who started his float in April, said: "People love the milk, the tradition and the Britishness of it all."

Image caption The electric Ecofresh milk float - once used by Cadbury's - adorned with Christmas lights

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