ENVELOPES containing hundreds of pounds worth of donations have been returned unopened by a health trust.

Linda and Tim Hunt were astounded to find that the generosity of some of their nearest and dearest had been sent back to Royal Mail by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH).

The couple, who live in Thame, hoped the kind gestures would be well received, helping those at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford continue their good work.

Mrs Hunt said: "I really am in disbelief that these envelopes with cheques inside them would just be returned, not even opened.

"I would have thought they would have had someone in their mail room [to deal with things like this].

"It makes me feel extremely frustrated, they've literally just thrown money away."

Instead of asking for gifts for her 70th birthday, Mrs Hunt insisted that people make donations to the John Radcliffe Hospital, where her husband had been treated and cared for after he suffered an aortic aneurysm.

She said: "My husband was very ill and the hospital saved his life, we can never thank them enough for that.

"We wanted to find a way of repaying them for what they had done for us.

"So when I turned 70 I told all my friends to not buy gifts but to donate to the hospital.

"I told them to send cheques addressed to the John Radcliffe."

But she found out that six of their friends never had the money taken out of their accounts, which they had sent in cheques to the hospital.

She added: "I have been liaising with the trust and it has told me because there was no specific department on the address, they have just been returned, unopened back to Royal Mail.

"I find it completely ridiculous."

Spokesman for the trust, Kaelum Neville, said: "We are always very grateful to receive donations from the public as their generosity makes such a difference across the trust.

"We are sorry that in this case donations were inadvertently returned.

"We would encourage anyone wishing to make a donation to send it directly to the Oxford Hospitals Charity, which supports us.

"Cheques made payable to the charity can be mailed to Oxford Hospitals Charity, Unipart House Business Centre, Garsington Road, Cowley, OX4 2PG.

"Alternatively donations can be made online by visiting ouh.nhs.uk/charity.