Christmas Tree Collection Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

Christmas Tree Collection 2021

The East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection is still going ahead despite Covid-19.

Organisers are having to make changes for the service on the weekend of January 9-10 to comply with government guidelines.

The collection is a major fundraiser for the Hospice which has lost serious revenue because of the pandemic.

Therefore organisers are requesting the public to once again support the campaign, with a special plea to those with plastic trees to also make donations.

The collection covers the same areas as before which means Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Prestbury, Poynton, Congleton and Knutsford. The post codes are CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

Co-organiser Richard Raymond said: “We have to be Covid secure in our running of the service so there can only be two people on a van unless they’re a family bubble.  That means we’re going to be slower and we ask for patience and understanding.

“We can’t have large gatherings of volunteers which means we’ll change the way we run our safety briefing.  Unfortunately, we’re only going to be able to have experienced collectors or volunteers so we won’t be able to entertain any newcomers this year.

“In addition, because we’re having to be socially distant we can’t offer the same welfare facilities to volunteers in terms of being able to look after their meals so it might mean packed lunches.

“The main thing to stress as far as volunteers or our partners, such as the Ansa recycling depot, is that we must be Covid secure to adhere to whatever guidelines are in place at the time.”

The collection, sponsored by AstraZeneca, is about to enter its 21st year, raising more than £1.1m for the Hospice. More sponsors are encouraged to come forward.

Richard said: “The Hospice needs the money now more than ever after cancelling its fundraising events.  We don’t know how many people will buy real Christmas trees this year.

“We’ve all gone on the internet and had goods delivered to our doors. Will people do that with a plastic tree? We hope not and are putting out the message as strongly as possible that plastic trees aren’t environmentally friendly unlike real trees.

“The fact we’re still around and will collect those trees for recycling should hopefully be a factor in for people deciding whether to get a real tree or not.”

* To register and find out more visit www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/echtrees.

The safety briefing for the 2020 East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection.

Firgus’ Summer Holiday

Firgus, the East Cheshire Hospice virtual Christmas tree, has enjoyed a summer holiday – unlike the rest of us!

 

His travels took him far and wide, raising an impressive £4,750 for the Hospice.

 

He started his month-long journey camping in Macclesfield Forest and also sent postcards from an Algarve beach, surfing in Australia, celeb spotting in LA and a catch up with Santa at the North Pole.

 

Hospice supporters denied their own travels by Covid-19 entered into the spirit of things with generous donations.

 

Firgus’ foreign adventure was the idea of Pete Chapman and wife Heather. Pete and friend Richard Raymond are co-founders of the  Christmas tree collection which has been running for 20 years in aid of the Hospice.

Pete Chapman (left) and Richard Raymond post Firgus’ holiday progress on the notice board in Prestbury.    

 

Richard said: “It was a little bit of fun and a way for our loyal Christmas tree supporters to help the Hospice at a time when its fundraising activities have been badly affected.

 

“We’d like to thank everyone who contributed and it won’t be long before we turn our attentions towards our usual Christmas collection.”

 

A picture competition themed on ‘What Your Christmas Tree Does in Summer?’ was won by the Ashworth family from Prestbury with their tree sporting sunglasses in a paddling pool.

The Ashworth family winning picture

Virtual Christmas Tree Collection Campaign

It may be the wrong time of year for Christmas trees, but it is still the season of goodwill towards East Cheshire Hospice.

The latest to help the Hospice during the Covid-19 crisis are organisers of its Christmas tree collection.

Their fundraising campaign needs your involvement – through donations and creativity!

The organisers are sending their Christmas tree collection logo – newly-named as Firgus after a Facebook vote – on a virtual holiday.

His month-long journey is just starting, with Firgus sending postcards back each week, starting this Friday.

Luke Brightmore, Digital Marketing Assistant at the Hospice, said: “The more donations the further Firgus travels, though it’s a fun trip so his destinations won’t reflect the real cost of such a holiday.

“We’ll put a postcard on our website each Friday showing where he’s reached before moving on.”

Alongside the virtual journey, there is a competition for the best interpretation of ‘What Your Christmas Tree Does in Summer?’

The theme is based on Olaf from Frozen, a snowman who dreams of a summer holiday.

Drawings, paintings or pictures – any format is accepted – can be emailed to echtrees@echospice.org.uk. The top three will receive Christmas-themed prizes.

Richard Raymond, co-organiser of the Christmas tree collection with Pete Chapman, said: “There’s been some fantastic fundraising for NHS charities but that money won’t go to the Hospice.

“Our message is really ‘Don’t forget our Hospice’  which keeps its door open and maintains services  for our community during this pandemic.

“The Hospice has its Now More than Ever appeal and we wondered how we can help. We thought  the tree holiday is something we could do to tap into all our Christmas tree customers.

“It’s a bit of fun and will hopefully capture the imagination, including on social media, and in some ways it’s our take on a virtual Christmas tree collection.

“The competition may be a photograph of dad in his trunks and shades sitting in a deckchair alongside a Christmas tree with a beer in hand.

“Or, it could be a child dressing up as a Christmas tree with a star on their head and a few baubles dotted across the body.

“Basically, anything goes and there are no rules. One of our supporters said it’d give them something to do in these strange times and fundamentally we’re helping the Hospice. ”

Pete Chapman (left) and Richard Raymond, co-organisers of the East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection, with their own slant on a Christmas tree summer trip and their tree logo.

Thank You To Our Christmas Tree Stars!

Our Christmas Tree Collection was yet another major triumph breaking more records.

More than 7,200 trees were collected and recycled, with the overall income predicted to reach £140,000 which will pay for nearly three full weeks of Hospice care.

The 20th year of the service, sponsored again by AstraZeneca, saw the total raised for the Hospice exceed £1.1m.

Organisers were delighted with the success of the scheme in which more than 250 volunteers took part earlier this month.

A push to encourage the public to buy real Christmas trees due to their environmental credentials also paid off.

Trees were taken to the Ansa recycling plant in West Park for recycling. ANSA Environmental Services Ltd were major partners in the project.

A fleet of vans were provided by transport sponsors Cheshire Vehicle Rentals and Enterprise Rentals, along with owner drivers John McPherson, Creative Kitchens, Harry Newton, Darren Taylor, Lee Fisher Plastering, Alan Potts, John Hirst and We’re Moving.

Other sponsors included Avanti Signs, FDR Law, Flour Water Salt and other local businesses.

Co-organiser Richard Raymond said: “It was another record year on all fronts and we’d like to thank  everyone who worked tirelessly in many different ways to make this annual event such a success.

“We rely entirely on public support and thank everyone for their kind donations in lieu of collecting their trees.

“The Hospice benefits greatly from their generosity, allowing them to continue to care for patients, their families and carers.”

Christmas tree collection volunteers ready for action

Katie Porter Talks Christmas Tree Collection

Kate Porter who is part of the East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection team.

 

Kate Porter is following in the footsteps of her late father by visiting homes to support East Cheshire Hospice.

The Macclesfield mum-of-two is a van driver for the charity’s Christmas Tree Collection service which swings into action again this weekend (Jan 11/12).

Her dad Oliver Hanson (71) was also a Hospice volunteer and collected lottery money for the charity right up until his death in 2006.

On his weekly rounds he would be offered tea and cakes by customers who enjoyed a chat as much as he did.

Kate said: “The Hospice and his lottery round were dear to his heart and I felt like I needed to carry on his legacy.”

“It was only when I saw how many of his lottery customers were at his funeral that I realised just how much the role meant to him.”

“He was out in all weathers knocking on doors collecting the £1 lottery subs and was well known at the Hospice, though he never made a song and dance about it.”

For the last 14 years, Kate has helped with the tree collection, starting as a crew member before becoming the first female van driver a few years ago.

Kate works as a PA for HealthCare 21 Communications and toy and game inventors Carterbench, both based in Macclesfield.

Her partner Chris Nixon has helped with the tree collection for the last eight years after son Sam and daughter Bex assisted early on.

“When you do it once you get hooked. It’s such a positive day and the organisers and everyone else is so welcoming and make you feel part of it.”

“I’m proud of my female van driving role and I usually do the pick-ups which are furthest from Macclesfield.  I like driving and there’s probably as many women who help out in various roles as men.”

“The collection keeps getting bigger, so every year we need more help. There’s a great team spirit even when it’s pouring with rain.”

* The collection covers Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Prestbury, Poynton, Congleton and Knutsford.  Post codes CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

Christmas Tree Collection 2020 is live!!

Plans to dispose of Christmas trees are already in place, even though the lights may have only just been switched on!

The East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection service is already accepting registrations for its January operation.

Visit  www.echtrees.org.uk, or call the customer care hotline 01625 708939, to arrange to have trees collected on the weekend of Saturday, January 11, and Sunday, January 12.

Next year marks the 20th year of the service which has raised more than £1m for the Hospice.

The organisers are encouraging the public to buy real Christmas trees due to their environmental credentials.

More than 700 trees were registered in the first week after applications opened on November 18 and the figure has risen to well over 1,000.

Hospice Marketing Manager Amy Chatwood said: “The Christmas Tree Collection has always been a huge success thanks to the generosity of our supporters and we’re confident the anniversary collection will be just as popular.”

Co-founder Richard Raymond said: “I’m humbled and amazed by the scale of the operation and once again Pete Chapman and I want to thank everyone for their support in so many different ways.

“A Christmas tree from a sustainable source is known to be the eco-friendly alternative to a plastic version. We recycle all the trees enhancing the environmental credentials of buying a real tree.”

Around 300 volunteers will be out in force covering  Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Prestbury, Poynton, Congleton and Knutsford. The post codes are CW12, SK9, SK10, SK11, SK12 and WA16.

The collection, sponsored by AstraZeneca, will see a fleet of around 40 vans, half of them supplied by Cheshire Vehicle Rental, picking up trees for recycling at the Ansa Park depot.

Transport technology company TRU will provide route-mapping software to simplify the logistical challenge.