Since 2016, local families and businesses have been disposing of their real Christmas tree in a clean, convenient and eco-friendly way by signing up to have their trees collected by the hospice’s army of volunteers in return for a small donation.
In January (2021), 76 volunteers took part in TreeCycle. They picked up 4,428 Christmas trees, raising over £65,000 for the hospice, which cares for local people and their families living with a terminal illness.
This year St Giles is hoping that even more people will sign up to have their real Christmas tree recycled – and is calling for volunteers to step forward to help collect trees in January (2022).
Chloe Herbert, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “TreeCycle is a brilliant fundraising campaign which supports our work at the hospice and makes a real difference to the environment too, so we're delighted to be running it again this year.
“We received an amazing response from our supporters and volunteers last January, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and we're hoping that this year's event will be bigger and better than ever. If you’ve got a real Christmas tree then please sign up to TreeCycle, and we’ll take away your tree with no mess and no fuss.
“We’re also looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join our TreeCycle team – so if you want to banish your winter blues by taking part in something truly worthwhile then we’d love to hear from you. It costs St Giles £850,000 every month just to keep our services going so every donated tree and every hour volunteered makes a huge difference to everyone at the hospice.
“St Giles would also really like to thank Lichfield Tree Works, Greener Composting and Wincanton – without their support this campaign would just not be possible.”
Julie Deaves (47), a regular St Giles volunteer who lives in Lichfield and runs a business with her husband Ian (48), has taken part in the last two TreeCycle collections with Ian and their 12-year-old son Riley.
She said: “We absolutely loved taking part. It was really nice to do something worthwhile together as a family. St Giles is a great cause and it was really good to be able to help out. Riley really enjoyed it too – he said that when he’s a teenager he’s going to volunteer and get all his mates to join in.
“Volunteering for TreeCycle is our way of giving something back to the local community and we’d encourage anyone who is thinking of taking part to get involved. Signing up as a volunteer for TreeCycle is also a great way to be able to contribute to a good cause by giving up your time.
“Not only is it very rewarding,” she added. “It’s a great workout too and a good way to start getting back in shape after Christmas. It’s also great for the environment as you are putting your old tree to good use, as well as saving you time as you don’t have to queue at your local tip.
“TreeCycle is a great event which really helps the charity and the difference it makes is beyond words – especially when the charity is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic when shops had to close and events were cancelled."
This will be the seventh year that St Giles has been running TreeCycle to raise funds for the hospice, and teams will collect trees from around Lichfield, Walsall, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth, Burton, Rugeley, Burntwood, Uttoxeter, Swadlincote, Stafford and surrounding areas.
TreeCycle will be collecting trees from Wednesday 5th until Wednesday 12th January 2022. The suggested donation for trees up to 8ft is £10 and the donation for trees up to 10ft is £12. For trees over 10ft, please call 01543 432538.
Collections must be booked by 5pm on Wednesday 5th January 2022 and trees should be left out overnight on Tuesday 4th January as collections will start early the following morning.
Lichfield Tree Works and Greener Composting in Wall, Lichfield, will be recycling the trees for agricultural uses and as a result artificial trees cannot be accepted.
To find out more about volunteering for TreeCycle, please email email@example.com or call 01543 432538. For more information or to book a collection visit www.stgileshospice.com/treecycle.
Picture caption: Julie, Ian and Riley Deaves taking part in TreeCycle in January 2021.
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