For the past two years, Hannah and Sophia have volunteered for our Treecycling campaign. Read their story and discover what their favourite moments were, why they thought it was a humbling experience and why they can’t wait to get back on the road and Treecycle again this January!
You have both took part in Treecycling – how did you find it?
Hannah: It was brilliant and a lot of fun! Even though it was an early start, the atmosphere when you first turn up for the breakfast briefing was just fantastic. Everyone is so positive and there was a real buzz in the room.
Sophia: It was just a lovely weekend. Everyone was there for the same reason – to help others – which creates a really special and warming event.
What do you get up to when you’re ‘Treecycling’?
Hannah: We were given different roles on the Saturday and Sunday. On the Saturday, we were known as the ‘Collection Team’, in which we moved trees from people’s doorsteps to create one big pile on busy streets, so that it was easier and more efficient for the vans to collect. Then on the Sunday, we were in the van, picking up trees and taking them to the recycling point.
Sophia: It sounded like it would be hard work moving all those trees about and whilst some were heavy, we thankfully worked in teams which made carrying the really big trees a lot easier!
Did you speak to many people whilst you were out-and-about collecting trees?
Sophia: A few residents came over and said hello and thanked us for the work we were doing for the Hospice. When you hear kind words like that, it just shows how much the Hospice means to people living across Birmingham.
Hannah: Some people hadn’t heard of the Hospice before, so it was nice that they were asking us questions about the care and support it provides. Not only does Treecycling help raise money for the Hospice, but it really does help educate more people about its vital services.
It must be tough collecting all those trees – did you feel supported in your role?
Sophia: Absolutely – the whole event is really well organised. I knew I could call someone at the Hospice should our team have any problems and there were other volunteers driving around the designated postcodes to offer additional support and safety.
Hannah: The breakfast briefing was really useful – we felt clear about what we were doing and well equipped to go out there and get collecting.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Hannah: My collection team was made up of me, my sister and my friend, so spending time with them was definitely my favourite part. It was lovely to share that time together to help such a good cause.
Sophia: Just getting out there and collecting the trees! You never quite knew what shape or size tree you would be collecting – which caused a lot of laughter along the route. It was also great to collect with friends and share that experience together.
How did Treecycling make you feel?
Sophia: It was a really humbling weekend. To see all the volunteers come together and work so hard for a local charity is genuinely heart-warming. Christmas is all about giving and supporting the community and Treecycling really does create a feeling of ‘togetherness’.
Hannah: Treecycling was an eye-opener for me. I had no idea that you could volunteer in a role like this and so it felt good to do something practical for the community and the charity.
Why did you want to volunteer for this campaign?
Hannah: I wanted to raise awareness of Birmingham St Mary’s. The Hospice helps people at the most difficult of times and so I think it’s important that we help raise its profile a little more. That way, more people can get the care they need when they need it most.
Sophia: I wanted to help a good cause at this time of year but I also wanted to challenge myself to try something different. I knew that it would be hard work but I wanted to try something new and push myself.
Will you be taking part in Treecycling again this January?
Hannah: Of course we will, that is, if the Hospice will have us?
Sophia: We’ve already signed up and looking forward to it! Since I volunteered a few years ago, I follow the Hospice on Facebook and it’s always heartening to see the amazing care and support they’re providing. It’s crazy to think that my small role with Treecycling can have such a big impact, which is why I can’t wait to get involved and make a difference this New Year.
Of course we will welcome you to Treecycling again Hannah and Sophia! Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us.
Last year, Treecycling raised £70,862 for the Hospice which will help provide expert care and support to people living with life-limiting illness. To find out more about Treecycling – whether you want to volunteer or book a collection – please take a look here.