Colleagues from a North East housing association have been helping a charity with its annual Christmas tree recycling scheme.
Katy Bothick, Marion White and Steph Hamilton, from believe housing’s finance team, spent a day with the Durham-based charity St Cuthbert’s Hospice.
They decided to help with the scheme — collecting and recycling real trees from homes, churches, businesses, and schools across the region in return for a donation to the hospice — after believe housing joined the hospice’s 88 Club.
By making an annual donation of £88, local businesses in the 88 Club help the hospice to provide free care and support to people with life-limiting illnesses, people approaching the end of life, and people that are bereaved.
St Cuthbert’s Hospice also provides a dementia care service and community outreach project in the local area.
Katy said: “The volunteering day was amazing — we had such fun while feeling really good about doing something that helped others. Steph, Marion and I had a great day working together in a different environment, away from spreadsheets, and for a great cause we could feel proud to be a part of.
“We also had a chance to chat with some of the hospice team and find out about the fantastic work which St Cuthbert’s Hospice does. They have such passion for their work.”
To take part in the scheme, the trio used one of four volunteering days that all 640 of believe housing’s colleagues can take each year to help good causes and community projects.
“It is fantastic that believe housing gives us the opportunity to take part in volunteering to support whichever charities we would like.
“We had so much to talk about when we got home that night and we told our families and team all about it,” added Katy.
Jade McArdle, Community and Events Manager at St Cuthbert’s Hospice, said: “This year our Christmas tree collections have continued to grow, and we have collected more trees and raised more money than ever before — over £25,000 in total since we launched the scheme in 2020.
“We’re very grateful to everyone who signed up to have their tree collected and to all the amazing volunteers who have helped us with the collections, including those from believe housing.
“It is such a great thing to be a part of and seeing them all return with smiles on their faces is just lovely.”