Virtual Christmas tree collection supports local hospice this summer

Pete Chapman and Richard Raymond

Whilst it may be the wrong time of year for Christmas trees, it is still the season of goodwill towards East Cheshire Hospice.

The latest charity to show their support during the Covid-19 crisis are organisers of its Christmas tree collection.

They are sending their Christmas tree collection logo - newly-named as Firgus after a Facebook vote - on a virtual month-long journey during which he will be sending postcards back each week, starting from Friday, 5th June.

Luke Brightmore, Digital Marketing Assistant at the Hospice, said: "The more donations the further Firgus travels, though it's a fun trip so his destinations won't reflect the real cost of such a holiday.

"We'll put a postcard on our website each Friday showing where he's reached before moving on."

Alongside the virtual journey, there is a competition for the best interpretation of 'What Your Christmas Tree Does in Summer?'

The theme is based on Olaf from Frozen, a snowman who dreams of a summer holiday.

Drawings, paintings or pictures - any format is accepted - can be emailed to echtrees@echospice.org.uk. The top three will receive Christmas-themed prizes.

Richard Raymond, co-organiser of the Christmas tree collection with Pete Chapman, said: "There's been some fantastic fundraising for NHS charities but that money won't go to the Hospice.

"Our message is really 'Don't forget our Hospice' which keeps its door open and maintains services for our community during this pandemic.

"The Hospice has its Now More than Ever appeal and we wondered how we can help. We thought the tree holiday is something we could do to tap into all our Christmas tree customers.

"It's a bit of fun and will hopefully capture the imagination, including on social media, and in some ways it's our take on a virtual Christmas tree collection.

"The competition may be a photograph of dad in his trunks and shades sitting in a deckchair alongside a Christmas tree with a beer in hand.

"Or, it could be a child dressing up as a Christmas tree with a star on their head and a few baubles dotted across the body.

"Basically, anything goes and there are no rules. One of our supporters said it'd give them something to do in these strange times and fundamentally we're helping the Hospice."

For full details visit echtrees.org.uk

Photo: Pete Chapman (left) and Richard Raymond, co-organisers of the East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection, with their own slant on a Christmas tree summer trip and their tree logo.

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