A BAND of merry volunteers have been tagging thousands of Christmas trees in a recycling venture designed to help a community’s hospice.
Darlington Council Leader Heather Scott turned up at Croft Christmas Trees to help Rotary Club members to launch the annual venture.
Volunteers have been hard at work tagging thousands of trees with details of the scheme. Early in January a band of 70 Darlington Rotary Club members will man a fleet of over 20 large vans touring the borough collecting used Christmas trees.
And, in just one day, on Saturday January 4, they hope to collect over 2,000 trees raising £10,000 for St Teresa’s Hospice, which needs £3.5m a year to run a range of services for people in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.
Rotary Club organiser David Hayward said: “This is a win-win venture all round. For a minimum donation of just £6 homeowners can avoid messing up their cars with pine needles, have the trees recycled into garden fertilizer and raise vital funds for the hospice.”
St Teresa’s Hospice chief executive Jane Bradshaw added: “This community gives generously all year round to help us maintain our vital services at a very difficult time for charities. On this occasion it is so great that we can give something back, with the help of Rotary, by providing people with an invaluable service.”
Vans will be borrowed from Darlington Council and hire companies Enterprise and Charter.
The operation will be run from Darlington’s Drive Vauxhall dealership in Chesnut Street and the trees will be recycled by waste disposal company Wade.
Since the idea was conceived 10 years ago, the Rotary club has collected over 7,000 trees raising £47,000 for the hospice.
To register a tree, visit https://www.darlingtonhospice.org.uk/christmas-tree-collection/, or phone (01325) 254321, before January 2.