January 5, 2021 1.48 pm This story is over 40 months old

St Barnabas cancel ‘tree-cycle’ collections due to lockdown

Another fundraiser cancelled by COVID

By Local Democracy Reporter

St Barnabas Hospice has had to cancel its charity collection of Christmas trees to recycle this year due to the country being put back into lockdown.

The charity had originally planned to drive across the county to collect and recycle any Christmas trees in an environmentally conscious way in January, for a small donation.

The announcement of a third national lockdown has caused these plans to be cancelled, though.

The ‘Treecycle’ scheme had been planned as a fundraiser for the hospice, with hopes of reaching a £30,000 target to backfill the deficit lost from having to cancel other fundraisers in 2020.

It is hoped that the collections will return next year, starting on January 8, 2022, but those who had arranged collections for this year are being contacted about a refund if needed.

Fundraising officer for the hospice, Louise Cotton, with last year’s recycled trees. | Photo: St Barnabas Hospice

Chris Wheway, St Barnabas CEO, said: “Following the government’s tier 4 COVID restrictions announced on December 30, we put a halt to new registrations for our Treecycle scheme.

“After further discussion and exploring every possible option, we have decided to cancel all collections due to safety concerns.

“We are very disappointed to have to announce this, but safety is paramount – the hospice is about caring for people, and we would never want to put people in danger.

“We have looked at all options, but due to the nature of the collections, we cannot facilitate this safely without the risk of spreading the virus.”

Chris also apologised to supporters of the hospice, and thanked those who have donated during the pandemic.

“We are so sorry to let our kind supporters down. We have invested a huge amount of planning time and effort into the fundraising event, but we are confident that we can provide this service next year, once it is safe to do so.

“A huge thank you to each and every supporter who has donated, this money is so vital to support the hospice and the care it provides to thousands of people each year.”