Volunteers for a children’s hospice charity have raised more £16,000 by collecting and recycling Christmas trees to help support children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
Over two days in January, volunteers for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices collected and recycled 655 Christmas trees across several parts of west London and Surrey, nearly doubling the number of trees they collected last year.
The service returned for its second year in 2024, with volunteers offering to collect Christmas trees in return for a donation to support the charity’s work, which includes providing support for babies, children and young people and their families.
Corporate relationship manager Ellie Constable said: “It was brilliant.
“We’re really proud of the growth. It’s obviously great for the environment and it raised a lot of money for families who desperately need us.
“We feel really proud to be doing it and it’s something we can grow year on year.”
In a combined effort with UK charity JustHelping, the hospice will receive 90% of the funds, while the remaining 10% will go towards helping other charities in the area, many of which are also hospices.
After the collection, the west London trees are chipped by The Tree Agency free of charge, which reduces each tree’s carbon footprint by 80%.
For the Guildford collection, staff and students on agricultural courses at Merrist Wood College helped out as part of their qualification, learning how to use chippers along with other tools and equipment.
Constable said: “It’s an initiative that, most importantly, raises funds to support children and their families who so desperately need us.
But it also sustainably recycles Christmas trees and makes life easier for our customers when it’s time to dispose of their tree, whilst bringing together a group of brilliant volunteers who so willingly give their time to help us collect trees across 18 different postcodes in the TW and GU areas.
“We’re hoping to grow our collection next year, covering more postcodes, collecting more trees, and raising more funds to support children and their families who are facing the unimaginable.”
JustHelping has organised 117 tree collections across the UK, reaching a combined total of 65,000 Christmas trees and raising over £1 million for local charities, like Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.
Speaking on the project’s return, Ellie said there is so much potential to grow and to help more children and families who really need the support.
She said: “We’re already looking forward to growing the collection next year – roll on 2025!”
To read more about their work, click here.
Featured image courtesy of Lucy Hooper.