Around 65 volunteers from Darlington Rotary Club toured the town in a fleet of vans to take away the festive firs in return for a donation to St. Teresa’s Hospice. With donations averaging around £10, a record £16,575 was raised, most of which goes directly to the hospice. The scheme has been running for the past 11 years with trees going to John Wade Recycling for conversion into fertiliser or to specialist arborists Greenworx to be chipped to provide biomass fuel for power stations.
The venture was hosted by Drive Vauxhall, with vans loaned by rental companies Enterprise and Charter, and local firm MT Print.
Rotary Club organiser David Hayward said: “This is a win-win venture for everyone. Residents avoid any mess removing their trees and the hospice gains much needed funds following a challenging year.”
More than £3m needs to be raised every year to provide free inpatient and community care for residents of Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.
St. Teresa’s chief executive Jane Bradshaw presented a special award to Darlington Rotary Club president Peter Phillips for members’ fundraising efforts over the past year. She said: “We have all had a very difficult two years and at times like these the support of our friends has never been more important. In today’s very tough climate this is a welcome boost to our funds and we are very grateful to Rotary and local residents for supporting us.”
Photo: Darlington Rotary Club volunteers with St. Teresa’s Hospice chief executive Jane Bradshaw before embarking on a weekend charity Christmas tree collection.