A GROUP of school friends have come up with a charity fundraising idea allowing the public to collect money without leaving their front room.

Nine year-old Freya Smart, who attends St Mary's Primary School in Fownhope, is encouraging people to search under the sofa for loose change which could be donated to Bartestree-based St Michael's Hospice.

The idea was born after the youngster visited her grandad, who was being treated at the hospice.

"My dad works at the hospice and he told me that the nurse and doctor caring for grandad were paid for with money donated by local people," said Freya.

"When I was looking for the TV remote control, I found £1.76 underneath our sofa and asked dad if we could donate it to St Michael’s and he said it was a lovely idea."

She soon created a new fundraising campaign with her friends Malisa (corr) Sithara, Emily Dereham, Izzie Sherratt and Isabelle Sayce, who are also aged nine.

The group is now asking all Herefordshire residents to look under their sofas, and any other nooks and crannies, to help the St Michael's Hospice's Redevelopment Appeal.

"We are constantly being amazed by the creativity the local community has for raising money and this is definitely one of the most inspired ideas we have seen," said Ruth Denison, the hospice's head of fundraising.

"What’s particularly nice is seeing how much fun Freya and her friends are having promoting the campaign.

"Freya’s Under the Sofa campaign is a perfect example of how important every single penny donated is to providing the best possible end of life care for local families at the time they need it most."

The hospice has secured £10 million towards the redevelopment of a state-of-the-art venue, with a further half a million pounds needed to complete the new in-patient unit and the refurbishment of the original building, which first opened its doors 30 years ago.

Any money found under people's sofas can either be dropped directly into the hospice or sent by cheque.

If anyone finds £1 it can be sent by texting SOFA30£1 to 70070.