A businessman was invited to Downing Street as he continues his campaign to support hospitals across the country.

Nigel Richardson, founder of Maldon’s Secret Hamper, met with chancellor Philip Hammond at 11 Downing Street as part of Small Business Saturday.

He was one of just three Essex businesses to be selected in last year’s Small Biz 100.

Mr Richardson, who founded the business in 2016, said having the opportunity to meet with Mr Hammond was “amazing”.

He said: “This year we were invited to meet Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer and we spoke to him about Secret Hamper, how it began and our NHS campaign we are trying to achieve.

“We have also had Indeed kindly sponsor the hampers to one particular hospital as a result of the visit.

“It is brilliant we were able to go to No. 11 and it just goes to show how much the NHS is embedded in our society.

“There is so much focus currently on Brexit, which of course is important, but I fell there are some that are getting forgotten about.

“Ultimately in a day and age where it is not taboo to talk about mental health, some people do see things every day you would not want to see in your lifetime.

“These hampers do not just benefit the communities inside the hospital, but the staff as well.”

Mr Richardson, who was recently presented with a community champion award by Pride of Essex, has launched a new campaign to have 70 of his hampers delivered to 70 hospitals across the country as part of NHS70.

The campaign came after his hampers helped more than 2,000 staff who work at Broomfield Hospital.

Mr Richardson has enlisted the help of businesses and representatives from across the country to help him achieve the huge goal.

He said: “We are going to Newcastle soon and we have the mayor coming to see us on the day.

“We want to be a promoter of random acts of kindness across the country and these opportunities can help us do that.”

Secret Hamper has even received support from author Jason Vale, who mentioned the business in his book Create Magic.

Copies of the book will be delivered in the hampers that Mr Richardson is putting together as part of the campaign.

He added: “I even sneakily left a copy for the Prime Minister, Theresa May, which hopefully she can take some inspiration from.”

Mr Richardson intends to have all the hampers delivered by July 2019.

To support the campaign and to find out more, go to secrethamper.com.