Pictured: some of the ECH Christmas Tree Collection team with Tatton MP Esther McVey
Guest post by Richard Raymond
(East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection)
On 13th January 2001, a van swung out of the drive of the old vicarage in Prestbury and went to make collection of a Christmas tree.
Tied onto the tree was an envelope containing a few pound coins.
Building on a fundraising initiative based on the Parable of the Talents proposed by men’s choir member Mike Thompson and his wife Lis, when the church required a new organ, those coins were the first donation to the East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection.
Some 19 years later (to the day!) on 13th January 2019, over 40 vans all manned by volunteers of the same Christmas Tree Collection will be out hoping that they will pick up the one tree whose donation will raise the cumulative net amount of monies raised for the hospice to over one million pounds.
Since 2001 over 70,000 trees have been collected.
Countless volunteers have helped over the last 19 years; many meals have been served to keep the van crews going; endless roads have been visited; bundle-loads of leaflets have been delivered; and a whole community has helped in so many ways to do this.
We could reflect on our award-winning status, or that we are the largest volunteer-led Christmas tree collection in the country, or that another 50 hospices have followed our lead to run such a fundraising initiative.
But now is not the time for all of this – we have a six-figure target to smash!
And to do so we shall mobilise our teams of volunteers who will have to collect another 75 tonnes of trees.
Once again we will organise an enormous industrial operation to turn these into recycled mulch.
However all of this will not achieve our target. It is the generous support of all our customers which will push this year’s total to over £120,000, and that will see us through £1million!
Please help us!
By doing so we can all support our local hospice and help them to provide care for those with life-limiting conditions, and their families and friends, through the in-patient unit, the daycare centre and the Hospice at Home service.
Please go to www.echtrees.org.uk. Here you will find how to book your tree in and how to make a donation.
The collection will take place on 12th/13th January 2019.