A Huge Success at this Year's Christmas Tree Collection! - East Cheshire Hospice

A Huge Success at this Year’s Christmas Tree Collection!

What have a Bishop, a Mayor and Chaplain all got in common? The answer is they all took part in this year’s East Cheshire Hospice Christmas tree collection.

They were among some 230 volunteers from all walks of life who helped gather more than 6,400 trees.

The 24th edition of the scheme went like clockwork once again, thanks to a well-drilled routine which raised another £150,000 for the Hospice.

Volunteers ready to start the Christmas tree collection.

A staggering £1.9m has been generated overall for the Hospice, leaving organisers on course to smash the £2m mark when the scheme celebrates its silver jubilee next year.

Macclesfield Mayor Cllr Chris Wilcock was on a mission, signing up as a volunteer after his late mum Lesley was a Hospice outpatient in 2015.

Cllr Wilcock said: “The Hospice is one of my chosen charities during my year of office and my mum is another reason I wanted to help. She was only 59 when she died of cancer.

Macclesfield Mayor Cllr Chris Wilcock and wife Katie, the Mayoress.

“She was treated at the Sunflower Centre and on the day she died was on her way here to become an inpatient.”

The Bishop of Stockport, Reverend Sam Corley, was also out and about collecting trees for delivery to the Ansa recycling plant in West Park and Swift Tree Services in Adlington.

Rev Corley said: “I’m one of several bellringers involved in this brilliant event. I couldn’t make it last year and am delighted I can be here this time.

Air Cadets (from left) Cpl Arthur Brough, Sgt Bill Martin, Sgt Millie Carlisle and Andrew Storer.   

“It’s a win-win – people get their trees collected and it raises money for a wonderful cause.

“The collection helps promote the work of the Hospice in the local community and there’s a real buzz among volunteers.”

Co-founder Richard Raymond said: “Yet again we’ve had an overwhelming response, both in terms of donations and volunteers whose amazing dedication makes this all possible.

Volunteer bellringers (from left) Nick and Graham Jenkins, Richard Raymond, Marcela Hall, David White and Rev Sam Corley.

 Workers at the Ansa recycling plant prepare to mulch the first tree delivery.

“The support of sponsors, led by AstraZenaca, covers costs meaning funds donated go directly to patient care.”

Richard and co-founder Pete Chapman will hold a debrief in the coming weeks as thoughts turn to how to mark the 25th year. One idea is to get everyone who has volunteered involved.

Volunteers collected trees over two days.  

Volunteers helping with refreshments included Hospice Chaplain Marion Tugwood and Air Cadets from 201 (Macclesfield) Squadron, whose Flt Lt Spike Elliott is a long-standing volunteer.

Organisers have advised other hospices on running their own collections and on the eve of this event provided route planning help for charities in Essex and Yorkshire.

It’s a wrap … volunteers enjoy a well-earned drink after the collection.

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