Christmas Tree recycling raises £8,000
Santa, Rudolf and the gang haven’t escaped their festive duties for this season just yet. They were called on once again at the weekend for Pilgrims Hospices Treecycling fundraiser.
Piloted this year by the charity in the Ashford area, the scheme enabled people buying real trees at Christmas to have them collected after the festive season in exchange for a donation.
Each named after the Christmas reindeers, six volunteer van crews supplied by local businesses met at 0800 hours at Ashford’s Territorial Army headquarters, before taking to the roads throughout the weekend to collect nearly 650 trees.
And that wasn’t where the military precision ended. Back at base, volunteer coordinators plotted collection rounds on detailed grid maps allowing them to scoop up everything from a local church’s 30 feet tall tree to tiny potted specimens from the remote villages in record time.
If they were lined up end to end, the collected trees would stretch 2/3 of a mile. Now, the trees will be recycled into wood chippings by Quercus Tree Services of Dover.
Pauline Donkin, community coordinator for Pilgrims Hospice, said. “It’s been an exceptional effort. Our volunteers have been the backbone of the operation, all putting in a lot of time to make both days run as smoothly as possible. We’ve had a great response from the local community too, who have really got behind Treecycling. The scheme has raised £8,000 for the hospice, which will make an immediate difference to our patients.”
Janet Taylor, of Godinton Park, Ashford, gave the volunteers a warm welcome as they came to collect her tree, saying: “Pilgrims is a relevant charity for us as we have known people who have been looked after by the hospice. It’s great to support this scheme and we’re glad it has been a success.”
The money raised will be fed back into providing free care to people with illnesses that cannot be cured and their families across east Kent. It costs Pilgrims more than £9.5 million a year to run the three hospices in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet.
The corporate partners for Pilgrims Hospices Treecycling scheme 2013 were: Headley Brothers Ltd, Church and Dwight, Orbital Marketing, Brakes, Givaudan, Medash and Medway Tool and Hire.