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Saint Francis Hospice forced to abandon annual Christmas tree collection

 Volunteer Elaine Cheadle helped with the event last year (credit: Saint Francis Hospice)

A local charity has been forced to cancel one of its annual fundraising initiatives due to the latest coronavirus lockdown restrictions. 

Nearly 1,300 people in Havering had signed up to have their Christmas tree collected and recycled by Saint Francis Hospice this weekend. 

The hospice has abandoned the event to ensure both their supporters and collectors remain safe. 

“We are deeply saddened to have to take this step and we appreciate this will be very disappointing for our supporters who signed up to have their tree collected,” said Leyla Clayden, marketing campaigns manager at the hospice.

“We felt this was absolutely necessary to help control the spread of the virus and keep our workers and the community safe.” 

The initiative was expected to raise £20,000 for the hospice which provides people with end of life care. 

“After a really difficult 2020, we were hopeful that the Christmas Tree Recycling service would be a great success for the local community and the Hospice and help raise vital funds to support local people in need of palliative and end of life care and support,” added Leyla. 

Havering Council has said residents can recycle their Christmas trees at home due to the cancellation. People must cut up their tree and place it in their green garden waste bin with all of the decorations removed. 

Alternatively people can take their tree to the Gerpins Lane Refuse and Recycling Centre in Upminster. You will need your driver’s licence and a confirmation email from the hospice to get your tree recycled for free.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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