Better Late Than Never For Christmas Tree Collection - East Cheshire Hospice

Better Late Than Never For Christmas Tree Collection

East Cheshire Hospice finally held its long-awaited Christmas tree collection last week, three months later than planned.

A reduced team of 25 volunteers collected around 1,100 trees after lockdown restrictions were eased.

Five vans shuttled across the region delivering trees to the Ansa recycling plant at West Park, Macclesfield.

More than 6,000 trees had been registered for collection, with most donors disposing trees themselves when the scheme was delayed because of Covid-19.

However, organisers promised to collect trees once rules changed and, true to their word, honoured that pledge.


From left, Tina and Richard Raymond with co-founder of the collection Pete Chapman and Hospice Community Fundraiser Carley Macey.    


Scheme co-founder Richard Raymond said: “We want to thank the people who kept their trees for their patience. We had great fun collecting them, even though our team was smaller in number.

“The postponement in January was a devastating decision we had to take and was a blow to all our plans.  But there we were, doing it again and this time with more daylight hours which meant we could collect for longer.

“It’s important to thank our amazing volunteers for their commitment to doing the job in this Covid crisis.

“They were really excited to be out there and felt cheated they couldn’t go out and pick up trees in January.

“There was no shortage of volunteers and some wondered why we were doing it during the week, preferring the collection to be at the weekend when they weren’t working.

“We realise it wasn’t the big happy band it normally is, but we’ll be back in business with a full scale operation as usual next year.”


Volunteers Sally and Pete Broughton collecting Christmas trees.


The collection, sponsored by AstraZeneca and adhering to Covid guidelines, saw two volunteers on each van with routes mapped out.

Organisers will announce soon the total raised this year, a sum increased by donations from those even without a tree for collection who contributed once they knew how much the Christmas tree scheme means financially to the Hospice.

Richard said: “The goodwill has been amazing and we also want to thank from the bottom of our hearts  those who made a donation and disposed of trees themselves.

“It’s made an enormous difference to the Hospice to have the Christmas tree collection money coming in, especially at the turn of the year when, in normal circumstances, there aren’t many fundraising events. That was the case even more last winter because of Covid.”

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