From Friday 15 January, 2021, and for a busy few days afterwards, a small army of Wirral Hospice St John’s volunteers, eager to work off their festive feasting, will be buzzing all around Wirral picking up used REAL Christmas trees from outside people’s homes and businesses.
Now in its eighth year, the Christmas tree collection campaign is raising more and more essential funds for the hospice. For a suggested donation relating to the size of each tree, £7 under 5ft, £8 under 6ft, £10 under 7ft, £15 over 7ft, people can leave their pine/fir/spruce tree in an accessible spot outside their house or business and, within the week, their tree will magically disappear.
Thirty large vans, many of which have been lent to the hospice, are sent everywhere around Wirral. One person will take the wheel and navigate a pre-planned postcode route, while one crew member, (or two if the whole team are in a ‘bubble’) will pick up the tree from each address and load it onto the back of the van.
January 2021 is going to be slightly different as the volunteers won’t be able to gather in a large group to receive their instructions but will rather be sent off in their safe ‘bubbles’, timed and spaced to mitigate any risk of coronavirus transmission.
With more than 9 days after twelfth night before collection, the trees will be COVID safe to whisk away. All volunteers will have gloves, a liberal supply of hand sanitiser and masks ready if they need to converse with a homeowner from 2 metres and outdoors of course.
Once each van is fully loaded it’s driven to various pre-arranged temporary ‘drop-sites’ around Wirral to offload for chipping, then it’s back on the road heading out for the next load. The chipped trees have further recycled uses, maybe in biofuel or even spread around at community farms and paddocks. Other small local charities also receive around ten percent of the monies raised.
All the people who give their valuable time are well fed and watered while fuel costs are offered to everyone who volunteers the use of their van(s).
Every Wirral postcode area is eligible to register and people can book from now until 5pm on Sunday 10th January, to secure the hassle-free collection of their REAL Christmas trees.
Elaine Connell, Wirral Hospice St John’s fundraising officer, says, “People from all over Wirral really get behind our Christmas tree collection campaign. We know it’s a lot of fun for our hardy volunteers who come back year after year. We’re extremely grateful to everyone who supports Wirral Hospice St John’s, including all those who give up their valuable time and the use of their vehicles to help with the collections and, of course, all those people who make their generous donations for us to pick up their used real Christmas trees.
We’re also very grateful to those organisations who lend a hand, equipment or space including, B&M, Firtree Landscapes, Willaston Community Farm, Ness Village Hall, BVH, Don’t be Stumped, HJA Fencing & Landscaping, S2S Gardening Services, Carsons Tree Services, Hoist UK Ltd, Allan Morris Transport, EMS, Continental Landscapes, Karl D Williams, Claremont Farm, Oldershaw Rugby Club, Tranmere Rovers, West Wallasey Van Hire, Aaron Garden Services, Wirral Lions, West Kirby Football Club, Mid-Wirral Rotary, NARPO, A. Douglas Garden Solutions, ECO Grounds Maintenance, McKay Garden Services, Ash Services, Mersey Removals, ML Fencing, Oxton Tree and Garden Services and Landforces”