Many charities have cancelled their Christmas tree collection schemes, which had been expected to raise vital funding, as a result of Covid-19 and lockdown.
One example is St Barnabas Hospice, which yesterday cancelled its upcoming Treecycle Christmas Tree collection, which it had hoped would raise £30,000.
The scheme allows supporters to have their Christmas trees collected and chipped for a small donation, but has been cancelled due to safety concerns.
Chris Wheway, chief executive at St Barnabas, said: “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.”
He added the charity had aimed to reach the donation total of £30,000 to backfill the deficit of losing the chance to hold huge fundraising events 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,” he said.
Supporters who had arranged collections are being contacted via email about how they can obtain a refund if required.
Similarly, after consultation on the 31 December 2020, the Farleigh Hospice has decided to cancel its Christmas tree recycling event this year.
A statement from the charity said: “This difficult decision has been made due to the current state of emergency declared in Essex in relation to the increased transmission of Covid-19 new variant and the numbers of people hospitalised at present.”
Farleigh Hospice is joined by St Helena Hospice in Colchester which has made the decision to cancel its Christmas Tree-cycle.
Following the national lockdown, other hospices have at the moment made the decision to postpone the collection, rather than cancel.
A statement from East Cheshire Hospice in Macclesfield reads: “We are truly sorry that we have had to make this decision, but the safety of our community and all involved in making the collection happen must come first. Therefore, we must postpone for a safer time and follow the government’s guidance to stay at home.
“This is a devastating blow to the Hospice after an extremely challenging year for fundraising, having been unable to hold a major fundraising event since the last Christmas Tree Collection in January 2020! The collection is one of our biggest annual campaigns generating vital funds that we rely on to continue to provide our care.”
With all in-person events cancelled because of Covid, charities got creative with virtual fundraising this Christmas