Posted: 27.10.21 at 15:30 by The Editor
The organisers of a charity Christmas tree recycling service are calling for volunteers to make this year's collection their biggest yet.
Coventry Charity Christmas Tree Collection, which last year raised nearly £17,000 for The Myton Hospices and Pass The Smile For Ben, is looking for people to get involved with collecting old trees after Christmas 2021.
Childhood cancer research charity Pass The Smile For Ben was started by Scott and Sarah Crowther in memory of their son Ben who died in 2019.
The recycling scheme was then launched in Coventry in late 2019 aiming to do a small collection of used Christmas trees in January 2020.
Residents were encouraged to book a slot and make a donation for their trees to be collected and then used as mulch at Baginton-based Russell's Garden Centre.
The first year the group collected 362 trees and raised over £4,000 for the two charities.
Last year some 106 volunteers and 14 vans helped collect 1,201 trees as the team expanded across the city and into Kenilworth, Balsall Common and Henley in Arden.
But the organisers want to go even bigger this year.
Team member Paul Flower said: "This year we aim to reach a little further afield into Warwick, more of Kenilworth, Meriden, Leamington and Rugby with the ambition of collecting 2,500 trees.
"Obviously we want to raise as much money as we can and reaching £30,000 would be amazing."
Collections will be made on January 8, 9 and 10 2022, with slots available for booking from November 14.
"We always need people, it doesn't work without them," added Paul.
"We are looking for individuals to help promote the event in whatever ways they can, perhaps by distributing leaflets door to door in their local area in December and promoting the collection in their communities."
Local businesses are also being sought for sponsorship and support.
"We are primarily looking for teams of two to collect trees on Jan 8 and 9, either one of those days or both. One should be a driver with the other able to handle picking up trees from people's houses, ideally they will be in an existing 'Covid-bubble'."
As well as raising money for The Smile for Ben, the event also aims to spread joy in Ben's memory.
Paul said: "Ben Crowther was a happy boy who always wanted to have fun, he loved a practical joke.
"We always seek to spread that joy in whatever we do and make the collection process as fun as possible - our collectors dress up and generally have a good time."
You can register your interest in tree collections and/or volunteering by completing a short form online here.
Donations can also be made directly.
Text ‘TREE5’ to donate £5 or ‘TREE10’ to donate £10 to 70300. 100 per cent of your donation will be received by The Myton Hospices who will then share this with Pass The Smile. (Texts cost the stated donation amount plus one standard network message charge.)
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