THE Hospice of the Good Shepherd is pleased to announce its Christmas tree recycling collection is still going ahead from today (Thursday, January 14).

With the current government restrictions and the highly contagious strain of coronavirus, the Backford-based hospice has taken extra precautions to be able to provide this service.

Working in conjunction with Cheshire West and Chester Council, who are happy for the hospice to assist with recycling trees, they have ensured that all volunteers collecting are from the same household or normal work bubbles.

Companies helping out include Rooted Tree Surgery, Treemendous Services, Dee Clearances, Forward Business Supplies, Hoole Food Market and Menzies Distribution.

Sam Eastwood, community and events fundraiser, said: "We are so grateful to the community for donating to the hospice and registering their tree for collection and to the amount of volunteers who came forward to help with it.

“It was hard to say no to those without vans this year, but the safety of our community is first and foremost. We have put many new procedures into place to prevent any further spread of the virus, so that it is safe to collect the used Christmas trees for chipping.

"Not only does this campaign raise money for the hospice, but it also encourages people to stay at home.

“With over 2,000 trees registered, this many households will stay in, rather than leave their house to dispose of their tree. I will add that we are monitoring the situation daily, and if anything changes to our collection, we inform everyone immediately."

The Hospice of the Good Shepherd has asked for all registered trees to be placed outside, in a visible and easily accessible location, as the four-day collection begins today.

The hospice serves the communities of West Cheshire, Chester, Ellesmere Port, Deeside and the surrounding areas, caring for patients with life-limiting conditions and supporting bereaved families.

Its dedicated team of staff and healthcare professionals aim to meet the unique physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of those with life-limiting conditions, and to help maintain their dignity. It provides specialist palliative care for people with cancer and non-cancer life-limiting conditions. The hospice offers physical, emotional and spiritual care for patients, as well as family support and bereavement services.

Less than 25% of its £4 million annual running costs comes from statutory sources - the rest comes from fundraising, donations, events and corporate partnerships. It costs approximately £11,000 a day to run the hospice.

Since this pandemic began, Hospice of the Good Shepherd has been raising money through virtual events such as live auctions as well as their weekly lottery draw, where participants have the chance to win £1,000 for a cost of just £1 per week.

Though fundraising is particularly more difficult due to Government lockdown, they are still determined to keep their hospice afloat.