Volunteers who have been collecting and recycling Christmas trees in aid of East Cheshire Hospice since 2001 are celebrating after reaching the £1m milestone.
In 1999 Prestbury Church was trying to raise money to replace the failing organ used to accompany the activities of its two choirs. Mike Thompson, a member of the men and boys choir, and his wife Lis suggested that £10 be given to each choir member to be returned hopefully with interest (as with The Parable of the Talents).
Nobody realised how the Chapman family's £10 idea of collecting and disposing of Christmas trees would grow. With their trailer they organised a collection in the Prestbury area and divided the proceeds equally between a Children's Charity and the organ fund. It was a great success and the following year several friends and neighbours asked if they were going to do it again. So the collection was born and started to grow.
Since 2001, East Cheshire Hospice has been the sole beneficiary and 20 years later they have raised over £1million for our local hospice.
In 2016 we were honoured to receive the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups. We have also been a finalist in the National Recycling Awards on two separate occasions.
A spokesperson for the team said "In 1999, we turned a £10 note into a couple more for some local charities collecting the neighbours' trees. In 2001, we devoted our Collection to raising money for
East Cheshire Hospice. And now, in 2019, we can say we have raised over £1million for the Hospice.
"An immense thank you to all those who have supported, volunteered, sponsored and had fun with us over the last two decades, we really couldn't have done it without you all. Here's to the next two decades!"
The Hospice's 19th Christmas Tree Collection and recycling event took place this weekend with donations providing vital support help cover to the hospice's operating costs. As the Hospice only receives 17% of its funding from the Government it needs to raise over £7,500 each day. All the costs of running the collection are covered by local business sponsorship which means that every penny of donated goes directly to supporting the East Cheshire Hospice.
In 2016 East Cheshire Hospice Tree Collection were honoured to receive the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for volunteer groups. They have also been a finalist in the National Recycling Awards on two separate occasions.