St Barnabas chief executive, Chris Wheway said: “Following the Government’s Tier 4 COVID restrictions announced on December 30, we put a halt to new registrations for our Treecycle scheme. “
This has been compounded by the new national lockdown.
He said: “The scheme allows our supporters to have their Christmas trees collected and chipped for a small donation, however after further discussion and exploring every possible option, we have decided to cancel all collections due to safety concerns.
“We are very disappointed to have to announce this, but safety is paramount – the Hospice is about caring for people, and we would never want to put people in danger. We have looked at all options, but due to the nature of the collections, we cannot facilitate this safely without the risk of spreading the virus.
“We are so sorry to let our kind supporters down. We have invested a huge amount of planning time and effort into the fundraising event, but we are confident that we can provide this service next year, once it is safe to do so. A huge thank you to each and every supporter who has donated, this money is so vital to support the Hospice and the care it provides to thousands of people each year.
“We had aimed to reach the donation total of £30,000 to backfill the deficit of losing the chance to hold huge fundraising events such as our Colour Dash, our Moonlight Walks in Lincoln and Stamford as well as our shops closures in 2020.
“The pandemic has once again cancelled a vital fundraising event. We are now seeking alternative ways to raise these vital funds throughout 2021.”
Support for the scheme this year was strong, with more than 900 sign-ups and many companies including Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Lincolnshire Coop, Gelder Group, Travis Perkins, Daniel Charles Construction, Delta-Simons, Lincolnshire Showground, Ignite Stoves and Fireplaces, Continental Landscapes, Hilltop Tree Service, Simpson Arboriculture, Manor Farm Tree Services, KWR Plant Hire, Bytham Trees, Taylor Tree Services, Woodcraft Tree Services, TJS Tree Services, Arborez, Doddington Hall & Gardens, Gary Rook, KW Timmins & Sons, Down to Earth, Jane & John Kania, Lincolnshire Eco Arborists, Waterside Shopping and Fillingham Christmas Trees pledging their time and equipment to help make this year’s the most successful Treecycle yet.
Chris added: “We must extend a thanks to all corporate partners and chippers that were able to help. We are overwhelmed by your dedication to the Hospice and how, during this difficult time you have still offered your assistance.
Supporters who had arranged collections are being contacted via email about how they can obtain a refund if required. Alternative options for collection and disposal include the local council’s tree collections and scheduled garden waste bin collections. Local refuse centres are also still open to dispose of trees.
The Treecycle scheme will return next year, with collections starting on Saturday January 8, 2022.