Published: 12:26, 24 December 2020
| Updated: 13:19, 24 December 2020
A truck driver's Facebook post has sparked a rush of donations, securing hotel showers for hauliers stranded near a Kent town.
German national Alex Nolting has been in England since Friday, having delivered goods to Manchester.
He got stuck on his way to Eurotunnel when France announced new travel restrictions, and he's now been stranded in Kent since Monday evening.
This morning he posted on the Ashford Kent Today Facebook group, asking for places where drivers might get a shower.
The 23-year-old said: "I posted because we have been here for three days and not being able to shower is of course stupid. You feel uncomfortable.
"And then I tried this group. I've tried everything to get to the outside world."
Immediately his 9am post saw a massive response, with more than 300 comments being added in three hours.
One was Abbie Spicer, who has since organised showers for drivers at the Holiday Inn near to where the driver from Bad Oeynhausen was stuck.
The 22-year-old Ashford resident asked people to send her money, which she would pay forward to the hotel, where showers had been arranged.
Staff have now confirmed that each driver will also receive Starbucks tea and coffee, as well as chips and chocolate to take away, if people donate by calling the hotel at 01233 713333.
Miss Spicer said: "I drove past them all yesterday on the motorway and my heart sunk. I really wanted to do something to help them. Just Anything.
"I saw Alex's post and got in contact with him. I told him that I can call the Holiday Inn on his behalf and see if they can help, as he doesn’t speak very good English.
"The Holiday Inn staff were amazing and also very willing to help. I spoke to the manager who was willing to open the rooms and charge £10 each for them to have a shower, and unlimited coffee."
"So far roughly £300 has been raised within just an hour of me posting that I am in contact with the Holiday Inn, which is just amazing!"
She added: "I am employed at the Ashford Truckstop so I deal with the drivers each day. I have the utmost respect for the drivers, they leave their families for long periods of times, to make sure we have the goods we need for this country.
"It breaks my heart to think of them stranded and being able to be with their families this Christmas. They have no food, no water, no toilets or showers.
"To anyone thinking of donating some money to help these guys freshen up, do not hesitate.
"They have put their Christmas on hold, and spending time with their families, in order so that we can have ours. My heart truly goes out to them, and I hope they can get home soon.
"To all of those who did donate, thank you so much. I wish everyone a merry Christmas and hopefully a happy new year."
Anyone wishing to help towards the showers has been asked to call the Ashford North Holiday Inn at 01233 713333.
Mr Nolting was overwhelmed by the support received since his post went up, saying: "I am very grateful for this reaction and I think it is fantastic how the English in Ashford reacted to it.
"A big thank you to everyone who donates and wants to help."
Residents of nearby Mersham have also been helping the stranded drivers this week, lowering supplies on ropes from an overhead bridge.