Vol­un­teers help re­cy­cling ef­fort and the en­vi­ron­ment Christ­mas tree col­lec­tion raises cash for hos­pices

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Most Unromantic Man Competition -

More than 40 vol­un­teers and 10 lo­cal busi­nesses gave their time at the weekend to raise £8,500 for the Pil­grims Hos­pices as the char­ity staged its sec­ond Christ­mas treecy­cling ef­fort.

The scheme gives peo­ple the chance to sign up and have their Christ­mas tree col­lected from their doorstep to be re­cy­cled by the char­ity, in re­turn for a dona­tion.

Nigel Donkin, re­gional fundrais­ing man­ager for Pil­grims Hos­pices, said: “It was ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic, bet­ter than ever.

“We had more than 660 peo­ple sign­ing up, with more than 700 trees re­cy­cled, bust­ing last year’s to­tal. The com­mu­nity spirit was ex­tra spe­cial, too. We can­not thank ev­ery­one enough.”

Be­hind the scenes, vol­un­teers from the hospice had been plan­ning and pro­mot­ing the col­lec­tion since July.

Over Christ­mas they were out on foot in all weath­ers leaflet­ting houses to re­mind peo­ple to sign up.

Lo­cal nurs­eries also got on board, adding treecy­cling tags to ev­ery Christ­mas tree they sold to spread the word. On Satur­day and Sun­day, teams from Gi­vau­dan, Or­bital Mar­ket­ing, Men­zies, Medash Signs, Di­rect Courier Com­pany and Ab­bies Army brought along their own vans – com­plete with Christ­mas mu­sic, lights and hats – to travel around Ash­ford and the sur­round­ing vil­lages col­lect­ing trees for re­cy­cling. Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil and Kent County Coun­cil backed the scheme by al­low­ing trees to be re­cy­cled at the Ash­ford Waste and Re­cy­cling Cen­tre. Mr Donkin said: “The sup­port from the com­mu­nity has been bril­liant.

“Noth­ing was too much trou­ble for the vol­un­teers, and the sup­port from the house­holds who reg­is­tered and kindly do­nated has been sec­ond to none.

“The staff at the re­cy­cling cen­tre were amaz­ing too, so ef­fi­cient and happy to help.

“They made sure the turn­around for tree de­liv­er­ies was al­ways quick to keep ev­ery­thing run­ning smoothly,” he added. Leanne Brown and Gavin May­nard from BP Travel & Mar­ket­ing, who took part in the Pil­grims Hos­pices treecy­cling ef­fort

An­dre Stiffell, Dave Webb and Andy Ren­shaw from Gi­vau­dan who took part in the Pil­grims Hos­pices treecy­cling ef­fort

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