Christmas spirit soars for Lancaster hospice tree recycling

The Christmas spirit continued well into January with the St John’s Hospice Christmas Tree recycling campaign proving an enormous success, generating an impressive £34,000 in donations for the local charity that serves north Lancashire, the South Lakes and parts of North Yorkshire with palliative care.
Fundraising staff with the Chjristmas trees.Fundraising staff with the Chjristmas trees.
Fundraising staff with the Chjristmas trees.

In line with the spirit of Christmas, St John’s has chosen to donate a portion of the profits to five other local charities; Escape2Make, Lancaster and District Homeless Charity, Morecambe Bay Foodbank, North West Blood Bike and UniqueKidz.

More than 2,500 tree collections were made across the region as far afield as Catterall and Hawkshead and the volunteer team faced, for the first time, snowy conditions and treacherous icy hills– a testament to the dedication of the St John’s volunteers and their loyalty to the hospice

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This mammoth task of covering 104 collection routes was undertaken by a community partnership of businesses, donating their time, manpower, vehicles and equipment.

Hospice Christmas tree volunteer with a new recruit.Hospice Christmas tree volunteer with a new recruit.
Hospice Christmas tree volunteer with a new recruit.

The teams included EDF, United Utilities, Amey, Martins Landscaping Services, Kidds Transport, Electricity North West, CATS and 1818 Auctioneers as well as a huge team of individual volunteers.

This immense logistic challenge was organised by St John’s community fundraiser Karen Crossley who said: “Our Christmas tree recycling is the perfect example of the importance of real community spirit. This is an incredible amount of money that has been raised and we can’t thank the teams who helped enough!”

As well as being a great fundraiser for the hospice the annual collection promotes recycling, with trees being put to great use. M R Tree Surgery provided a great deal of equipment and expertise to shred trees into biomass fuel. The sales of the fuel will be generously passed on to St John’s Hospice as a further donation.

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Further support with the tree recycling came from Barden Biomass and South Lakes Tree Surgeons; generating further fuel and mulch to be used across the area.

Christmas tree volunteers hard at work.Christmas tree volunteers hard at work.
Christmas tree volunteers hard at work.

The Dallam Tower Estate received trees from the collection to be used as sustainable grounds keeping material, and trees were also donated to Wyre River Trusts to protect their riverbanks.

Karen added: “Tree recycling is important for everyone as we all try harder to recycle to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Head of Fundraising at St John’s Hospice, Catherine Butterworth, said: "What a momentous effort by our community! We are absolutely delighted that so many companies and individuals came together to collect a record number of Christmas trees and raise money for St John's.

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"It was a true team effort with everyone working really hard and safely for this important fundraiser. St John's is still here and still working throughout this pandemic and we really do appreciate what everyone has done for the hospice.

The Christmas tree collection.The Christmas tree collection.
The Christmas tree collection.

"For everyone who placed an order to have their tree collected - thank you too, as your donations will directly support patient care in the hospice and in patient homes."

The continued support of the community and business partnerships is vital for St John’s Hospice to continue to provide its services.

As a charity St John’s does not charge for its services and 70 per cent of its funding is thanks to the incredible support of the community with fundraising events like tree recycling, gifts in Wills, the St John’s Hospice lottery and donations throughout the year.