Why I’m Treecycling for my local hospice How will you be getting rid of your real Christmas tree this year? Gary Morton is just one of our many Treecycling volunteers who will be collecting trees right from your doorstep in exchange for a donation to the Hospice! Gary works at construction firm Wates, one of the corporate supporters generously supporting the Treecycling campaign this year. Gary shares why volunteering for Treecycling is a great way to start the New Year, as it’s a chance to do “something good” in your local community. The best thing about Treecycling? It’s knowing that you’re helping others. It’s a humbling experience and I feel proud to give up my time to help an organisation that has helped so many people over the years. When the team at Wates was asked if anyone would like to collect Christmas trees for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, I didn’t hesitate to volunteer my time. I’d recently lost my best friend to lung cancer and knew how vital services like the Hospice’s were. I also couldn’t believe that it cost £8 million each year to run the Hospice and so I thought the least I could do was give up my time for just one weekend to show my support and help raise funds. When I first turned up to the breakfast briefing on the day of the collection, I was surprised at how energetic the room was. Everyone was in great spirits as they chatted away and prepared for the busy day ahead. As I spoke to people, I quickly realised how important this event was – lots of people had a connection to the Hospice and it really brought home how many people are supported and cared for by its doctors, nurses, counsellors and more. Getting out there and collecting trees with the team was a lot of fun. It’s nice to be able to spend time with colleagues outside of work – and even better because you’re working together for a great cause. We had a right laugh and there was definitely a little bit of friendly competition between the different teams from Wates to see who could collect the most trees! Whilst the weekend was busy, it was also really well organised so I felt supported in my role. The level of information required to carry out the collections was spot on, making finding trees and collecting them really straight forward. It’s hard to pick out a favourite moment as I found the whole experience amazing but if I had to choose one, I’d say that it’s knowing that you’re doing something good for others. Before I started Treecycling, I knew very little about the Hospice but from speaking to volunteers and people along the route, I now know how crucial its care is to people when they’re going through a difficult time. It felt good giving up my time and that’s why I can’t wait to get back on the road and get Treecycling again this year! Thank you Gary for sharing your Treecycling story with us! We’re always looking out for more volunteers and vans to join our campaign, so if you would like to join in the fun, please email [email protected] or call 0121 752 8779. Or to book your Treecycling collection please click here!