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Volunteers are collecting and recycling real Christmas trees to help Wirral hospice

2 months ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Volunteers are collecting and recycling real Christmas trees to help Wirral hospice

An army of volunteers is heading out across Wirral to collect real Christmas trees and raise thousands of pounds for Wirral Hospice St John’s.

A team of between 40 and 50 people will go out in a fleet of vans from Friday January 12 picking up trees to be recycled in return for a donation.

Local businesses, gardening companies and individuals, most who’ve had loved ones cared for by the hospice, are giving up their time and energy to collect more than 2,500 trees once Christmas decorations have come down.

This will be Wirral Hospice’s tenth tree collection, helping to raise much-needed funds towards its yearly running costs.

Teresa Nightingale at the hospice explains: “We do receive some government funding, around 40% of the total, but it costs about £6million a year to run our hospice and provide services out in the community, like our hospice at home and wellbeing centre, as well as in-patient care.

“We have to raise 60% of that through all the different fundraising initiatives we have including our tree recycling.

“When we started, we were collecting about 300 trees and wondering how we’d do that, but now we pick up about 2,500-3,000 and we’re not finished booking for this year yet. We’ve got a great team who process all the donations, and organise the volunteers and the businesses.

“Last January we raised about £40,000, which is huge for us, so we’re hoping to get to that this year.”

Wirral hospice - Christams trees - The Guide Liverpool
Sarah

Teresa says the support of local businesses and volunteers, who often return year after year, is essential in making sure operation Christmas tree runs smoothly.

“On the days of the collections around 30 large vans are sent everywhere around Wirral. One person will take the wheel and navigate a pre-planned postcode route, while one or two crew members will pick up the tree from each address and load it onto the back of the van.

“The rising cost of fuel means we always try to squeeze as many trees into each van as possible. Once each van is fully loaded it’s driven to various pre-arranged temporary drop sites around Wirral to offload for chipping, then it’s back on the road heading out for the next load.  

“All the trees are chipped and recycled, so they’re turned into mulch, chippings or biofuel, either at the drop site or at the gardening companies.”

This year, Wirral Hospice St John’s will be collecting from these postcodes across Wirral: CH41, CH42, CH43, CH44, CH45, CH46, CH47, CH48, CH49, CH60, CH61, CH62, CH63 and CH64.

Bookings for a collection can be made via the hospice’s website until 11.59pm on Sunday January 7.

Suggested donations are £8.71 under 5ft; £9.42 5-6ft; £15.38 6-7ft; £21.53 7-8ft and £24.84 8 ft+

Those donations all equate to work done by the hospice team – £8.71 contributes towards one minute of running costs for the hospice; £9.42 goes towards food for one patient for a day; £15.38 contributes towards specialist palliative nursing care; £21.53 would help fund physiotherapy for a patient; £24.84 contributes towards bereavement support for loved ones and £30.76 will help fund hospice at home support visits.

Wirral Hospice St John’s isn’t the only hospice in the region doing real tree recycling to raise funds. St Joseph’s in Thornton, Queenscourt in Southport and Willowbrook in Prescot also have collections. 

To book a collection slot in Wirral, go to the website HERE.

Get the latest for Liverpool HERE.

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