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‘Treecycling’ scheme backed by Andy Street raises £85k for hospice

7 February 2020

180 volunteers collected and recycled over 4,500 Christmas trees earlier this month, raising much-needed funds for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s ‘Treecycling’ campaign has raised a record-breaking £85,000 – funds that will help provide crucial care to local people who are living with life-limiting illness.

On Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January, 180 big-hearted volunteers gave up their time to support the Hospice’s Treecycling initiative, offering residents across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull a greener way to get rid of their festive fir.

The scheme made recycling Christmas trees really simple – all residents had to do was make a donation to the Hospice and leave the tree on their doorstep, then it was over to the volunteers to collect it. The trees were then recycled into vital compost and biomass fuel – a much more eco-friendly solution then sending them to landfill.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, backed the campaign and helped collect trees during the weekend. He said: “It is brilliant news that Birmingham St Mary’s has raised a record amount of money through its annual Treecycling campaign, with all the money going towards the running of the Hospice.

“A massive thank you must go to the 4,500 people who signed up to have their Christmas tree collected and recycled, and helped to raise this incredible sum of money.

“I had a great time helping to collect the trees with the 180 other volunteers, and, with the more than 20 local businesses who also donated time and resources, I believe this campaign is a great example of the unrivalled community spirit we have here in the West Midlands.”

Treecycling is a business-supported initiative, with over 20 local firms getting behind the campaign. Civil engineering contractors Fitzgerald, construction firm Wates, and environmental management group Acorn were just some of the organisations supporting the scheme by donating vans, people and resources. This meant that every pound donated went directly to the Hospice, which supports people and their loved ones to live well with life-limiting illness.

Birmingham St Mary’s has been running the Treecycling campaign for nine years and this year, it collected more trees than ever before – raising nearly £15,000 more than in 2019.

Charlotte Dowling, community and corporate fundraising manager at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with people’s generosity in supporting our Treecycling campaign. Whether it’s people like Andy Street who gave up their time to collect trees, the local businesses who donated vans, volunteers and resources, or the residents who made a donation to have their tree collected – a huge thank you to each and everyone one of you who made Treecycling such a success this year.

“At Birmingham St Mary’s, we help individuals to live well with illness by supporting them to be pain-free, comfortable and to remain as independent as they can be. All of our services are free of charge, so we really rely on the generosity of local businesses and people to enable us to continue to provide crucial care when it’s needed most.”

Every day, Birmingham St Mary’s cares for and supports 500 people who are living with life-limiting illness across Birmingham and Sandwell. Its expert team can provide care in people’s home, in the community and at the Hospice itself, as well as offer support to family members, loved ones and carers too.

It will cost the Hospice £9 million to run its vital services this year, 64 per cent of which must be raised through voluntary donations.

If you’re a local business and would like to support the Hospice, take a read here and find out how you can get involved.