Pilgrims Christmas Tree Recycling campaign becomes a tree-mendous record-breaking success for east Kent

Pilgrims Hospices Christmas tree recycling initiative has become a fir-tastic record-breaking success.

Doorstep collections of Christmas trees took place over two weekends, 8th and 9th and 15th – 16th January 2022 and more than 2,250 were collected and recycled by volunteers and representatives of Pilgrims Hospices.

Supporters have been helping Pilgrims to take care of the planet and hospice patients, one tree at a time, through generous donations given by members of the community as part of this environmentally-friendly fundraising initiative, which has reached a milestone 10 years in Ashford and ‘branched out’ for the first time in Canterbury and Thanet!

The campaign has become a record breaker and early estimations show that, in total, more than £41,000 has been raised through donations for the collections. This staggering amount would pay for more than 1,620 hours of specialist nursing care for hospice patients.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who registered their tree for collection

Kate Duddell – Pilgrims

This tree-mendous amount brings the total raised from the initiative since its inception 10 years ago to an incredible total of £165,000 over the years.

The campaign was only made possible with the support of Kent County Council and FCC Environment, Kent’s Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC). Together the parties have helped Pilgrims deliver the long running 10th year of the Ashford campaign, yet also helped to extend the scheme into two new areas of Canterbury and Thanet. This year the charity ‘branched out’ with the aim to recycle more trees than ever before, which the charity hoped would raise more to help deliver vital end-of-life care for the people of east Kent.

The support of KCC has played an integral role in expanding the initiative. Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey said: “I welcome this initiative to support Pilgrims Hospices and thank all the partner organisations and volunteers who have made this recycling campaign possible.”

Kate Duddell, Fundraising Manager said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who registered their tree for collection, each and every donation makes a difference to the £11 million we have to fundraise each year in order to keep our services running.

“We simply could not run the campaign without the many volunteers lending their time, vans, support or facilities, including the staff at the Recycling Centre, FFC Environment, special thanks to Kent County Council, Ashford Borough Council, Canterbury City Council and Thanet District Council, Givaudan, Medash Signs, Countrystyle Recycling Ltd, Earles Landscapes Ltd, Tree and Grounds Maintenance Ltd, Old Dairy Brewery, Laing O’Rourke, Cordes Horticultural, Asda and Ashford Vineyard, Waitrose, MW Cave Ltd, Canterbury City Council, Thanet District Council, Core Waste Management, A Bird Trees and Gardens and Forty Seven Reclaimed, all of these groups of people have played a big part in helping us extend and deliver the campaign and we thank each and every one of those involved.”

Each year, Pilgrims Hospices provide care and comfort to over 2,500 people in east Kent who are coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity support patients to live life as well as possible until the end of life, free from pain and distress.