In early January each year St Giles Hospice arrange to collect Christmas trees from a very wide area, for a donation. Over the years this has grown and this year over 4,500 trees were collected.
This is a major fundraiser for the Hospice and this year was particularly important. Not only were a record number of trees collected, but people were very generous with their donations. Also most of St Giles other fundraising activities had been cancelled so the Tree Cycle was more significant than usual.
I have supported the Tree Cycle for a number of years, usually with the help of other volunteers. This year you could only work with someone you lived with – due to the Covid restrictions. So, my lovely wife, Pat agreed to step in.
We were asked to arrive at St Giles in Whittington at 8.00 am and were given a large Enterprise van and a list of addresses in Sutton and Erdington with 60 trees to collect! Off we went, after fully sanitising the van again. St Giles had already done it but we wanted to be super careful. The list is optimised so that you collect efficiently and do not need to turn around too often – just as well. When the van is full you have to drop the trees off at a recycling centre just off Wall Island.
We did well – 20 trees before lunch and 23 trees in the afternoon. The recycling centre closes at 4.00 pm so you have to be back by then. We were OK with that – we had done enough. I am sure that the trees were bigger this year! In saying this we had enjoyed the day and it was good to be able to contribute towards such a worthwhile charity.
We now are looking forward to getting our vaccinations and being set free. Let’s hope that it is not too long.
David 18 January 2021