MORE THAN 800 once-loved Christmas trees have raised £7,000 for charity.

A dedicated team of volunteers collected 861 trees in a Christmas tree-cycle for St Helena Hospice- three times the number of trees collected the previous year.

The scheme was supported by Colchester Council and JustHelping to raise funds.

Households signed up online to arrange their tree to be collected and recycled in return for a donation.

Chloe Winter, fundraising partnerships manager at St Helena Hospice, said: “We are firstly extremely grateful to Colchester Council for giving us the opportunity to run this fantastic event.

“We want to say a big thank you to the council’s recycling team as well as our amazing team of volunteers who helped collect the trees. We would also like to thank everyone who signed up to have their tree collected.

“We cannot do what we do without donations from the community and we are thrilled with the amount of money raised from the event this year.”

Dominic Graham, portfolio holder for street and waste services, said: “I’m delighted that even more Colchester residents have supported St Helena Hospice by making a donation to have their real Christmas tree collected.

“Our recycling team will ensure that all the trees picked up by the hospice’s volunteers are recycled, along with residents’ garden waste, and so kept out of landfill sites.

“The scheme is a great, green way to start the New Year.”

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