A Chalfont St Peter charity will be able to open its help line five days a week for the "foreseeable future" after a successful Christmas appeal.

The Epilepsy Society runs a national helpline from the village - which provides vital support and a listening ear to everyone across the UK affected by epilepsy.

Clare Pelham, Chief Executive at the charity, said: “There are 600,000 people with the condition in this country and we take 3,000 calls a year and respond to 2,700 emails.

"These will be from those with epilepsy but also from parents, partners, friends, teachers and healthcare professionals – anyone who has a concern about the impact that epilepsy is having on them or maybe a loved one and just need someone to talk to.”

The charity had already raised half the money needed to extend the Helpline opening hours from three to five days a week but needed a further £125,000. Its Christmas Helpline appeal raised an amazing £62,500 - which was matched pound for pound by a generous mystery donor.

This brought the total to £125,000.

Clare added: “From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank everyone who has donated and particularly our friends in the local community who so loyally support us.

"We couldn’t be more thrilled to extend the service and know we can be there to listen when people want to talk.”