A local hospice has raised £155,000 with its annual Christmas tree collection, thanks to support from waste collection firm Ansa.
Volunteers from East Cheshire Hospice were out in force earlier this month for the Christmas tree collection, raising cash after the event was hit by covid last year. Organisers had to scale back last year’s delayed scheme because of lockdown, with covid safety concerns again the main focus this time.
Now said to be the country’s most successful tree collection, the event was able to go ahead on schedule in its 22nd year, with more than £155,000 raised for the hospice.
Some 150 volunteers took part, with a fleet of vans shuttling between homes and the Ansa recycling plant at West Park, Macclesfield. Ansa empties bins and does other work across Cheshire East, and part-owns Alliance Environmental, which does the same job in Biddulph.
Almost 7,000 trees were collected and will be turned into compost for parks, gardens and farmland.
Until two years ago the depot also housed the so-called Mulchers Arms, a makeshift canteen for refreshments but this time provisions were provided at the hospice for volunteers. Shift times were staggered to prevent a large gathering.
The traditional post-event drink at the Cock and Pheasant pub in Bollington was also cancelled this year as a safety measure.
More donors contributed online this year when using the hospice web page to register for the collection, which had AstraZeneca as main sponsor.
Richard Raymond, co-founder of the scheme, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who played their part in making the collection happen again this year.
“It hasn’t been an easy time because of covid, but the dedication, loyalty and generosity of donors, volunteers and sponsors has meant we’ve enjoyed another hugely successful year.
“The hospice depends on contributions from our community to continue its vital role caring and supporting those in need.”
The latest collection brings the total raised by the scheme to more than £1.5m.
Long-standing supporters include Bosley-based King Feeders, which loaned a mulching machine, and Cheshire Vehicle Rental.