SCOTTISH & Southern Electricity Network has helped Dorothy House Hospice raise over £63,500 through an annual Christmas tree recycling scheme.

The initiative, run by DHHC for the past six years, has raised a staggering £63,545 in the first week of 2022 by gathering the real trees from homes across areas including Bath, Radstock and Warminster.

The charity asks people to sign up to the scheme in the run up to Christmas, so they can arrange for their old trees to be collected and chipped in the new year in return for a small donation.

This year, nearly 4,300 trees were collected across 16 Wiltshire postcodes by volunteers who worked under coronavirus guidelines to safely gather and transport the trees to central locations where they could be chipped.

Since December 2016, SSEN has volunteered to help DHHC by providing the chippers and colleagues needed to clear the thousands of trees the charity has collected. The chippings are returned to local authorities and community groups for use as environmentally friendly, reusable materials.

SSEN’s Thomas Gardiner, who is based in the company’s Ridgeway region, has volunteered his time to help Dorothy House Hospice Care since January 2017.

The distribution network operator lends the vehicles and chippers required to carry out the tree recycling, and this year Thomas was joined by nine other SSEN colleagues to work on the largest amount of trees the charity has recycled to date.

With 4,280 trees to process, the team worked across two days on Friday and Saturday, January 7 and 8 and used electric vehicles from SSEN’s fleet to adhere to Bath’s low emission zones.

Mr Gardiner said: “Over the last six years, this tree-cycling scheme organised by Dorothy House Hospice Care has raised vital funds while encouraging people to recycle their trees in the most sustainable way, with the by-product from them being shared locally for use in community areas such as green spaces, parks and playgrounds."

“Sustainability and the adoption of low carbon technologies is key to SSEN and this year we have been able to use some of our electric vehicles to make this the most environmentally friendly tree-cycler yet.

“My colleagues and I are delighted to be able to volunteer and to help raise money for this incredible local charity, while helping boost Wiltshire’s community and environment through sustainability and recycling.”

Steph Cox, community and events fundraising manager for DHHC, said: “This was our sixth Christmas tree collection with a record amount of trees signed up to be collected.

"We are so pleased to have raised over £63,500, as this will go such a long way towards providing the vital care and support in our local community.

“We really couldn’t run the collection without the continued support that SSEN have provided and I wanted to say a huge thank you to all of the team for working so hard, in all elements, across our Bath, Radstock and Warminster postcodes.”

Dorothy House Hospice Care supports and cares for patients and their families across a 700 square mile area, including Bath and North East Somerset, and parts of Wiltshire and Somerset.

Its services are provided whenever and wherever they are needed; at home, in the Hospice, or in the community, to respect the uniqueness of each patient and their family and empower them to choose the type of care they receive.