Willen Hospice have completed their fifth Christmas tree collection scheme, raising almost £23,000 – the highest amount the collection has ever raised.

96 volunteers and 37 vans helped the charity to collect an incredible 1575 trees across the Milton Keynes area earlier this month. One volunteer even helped out on her birthday, while members of the team collected the trees with their party hats on as part of their biggest edition of the scheme so far.

Willen Hospice expanded the collection area to an even wider list of postcodes than in the previous years. Residents who booked a collection were asked to make a donation to help support the care provided by the Hospice.

Nikki Poole, Community Fundraising Manager, said, “It’s hard to believe that our tree collection started with just four vans in 2018. It really is incredible to see how much it has grown over the past few years, and that’s all down to the generous local companies and volunteers who give up their time and resources to help. A huge thank you as well to DHL who stepped in at the last minute to help with this year’s route planning.

“Our fundraising income is still down due to COVID-19, but this £23,000 has put us in good stead for 2022. The money raised will make such a difference to local families who are facing life-limiting illnesses and at the end of their lives.”

The chippings from the Christmas trees will be turned into mulch for use on local farmlands, The Parks Trusts’ green spaces and in the Willen Hospice gardens.

Following its success, the Hospice hopes to run the collection scheme in more areas next Christmas.

Willen Hospice needs to raise £4.7 million a year, that’s £9 every minute of the day, to continue to provide specialist end of life care to patients in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas.