The Thames Hospice at Maidenhead has joined forced with Windsor Lions Club to carry out a successful first-time project raising money by collecting real Christmas trees from around the streets of Windsor and Ascot.

The hospice relies of public donations to carry out its work caring for people with life limiting illnesses at its premises near Bray Lake. Lockdown has removed one vital source of revenue by forcing the closure of its charity shops and the cancellation of fund raising events.

The collaboration with the Lions raised over £7000 for the hospice and other good causes through the removal and chipping of over 450 trees.

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Local residents were invited to book a collection via the Thames Hospice website in return for a donation. Vans then patrolled the streets of Windsor, Datchet, Eton and the Ascot area collecting the trees from outside residential properties.

Apart from the much-needed fund raising for the hospice and for other Lions supported charities, the organisers were determined to maximise the ‘green’ elements of the project.

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The chippings were used by Blue Acre Stables to make their rescued horses more comfortable and a planning app called Optimo Route utilised to minimise the miles covered by the collection teams.

Head of community and event fundraising at the hospice Alison Evans said: “We are delighted with the results of our efforts. This was the first time we have done this type of thing and it was great to raise such a large amount of money and to work with our friends at Windsor Lions again. There were a few challenges posed by the Covid restrictions but it didn’t put us off and we will be back bigger and better next year’.