THE coronavirus crisis shops shutdown has cost Ardgowan Hospice over £20k in lost can collections.

Volunteer Willie Gibson - who has been collecting the fundraising counter containers for two decades - is now urging businesses to hand in their loose change donations to help the charity make up for the loss.

Collectors haven't been able to get around local businesses to replenish cans where customers deposit loose change.

Last year, the coins deposited in cans across Inverclyde brought in £21,000.

Willie, 76, from Inverkip said: "I have been collecting cans for over 20 years across the length and breadth of Inverclyde.

"I know first-hand how much these small donations mount up and make a difference to helping the hospice.

"This year has been trying for everyone and the hospice have really suffered, so I hope businesses hear our plea and drop off their can donations."

Hospice staff are pleading with businesses who have cans to empty them and drop off the contents.

With all fundraising events cancelled for the past seven months and with no confirmation of when regular fixtures in the calendar will resume, the support of the public and local companies is now more crucial than ever to the survival of the organisation.

Joanna Hunter, fundraising officer, said: "Our fundraising cans at sites across Inverclyde are vital to topping up hospice funds.

"Over 60 per cent of our running costs have to be generated from fundraising events, so this year there's been a real drop in donations.

"We'd encourage any of our can sites to empty their containers and drop the coins off to us.

"As always we are blown away by the generosity of Inverclyde and thank everyone in advance for their help."

*If your premises have a hospice can and you have any questions email or call 01475 726830.