Residents have helped to raise more than £33,000 for two Huddersfield hospices by recycling their real Christmas trees.

Like many charities The Kirkwood and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice were unable to carry out traditional fundraising efforts in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but their contact-free collections proved a hit with each charity exceeding last year’s totals.

A range of volunteers, including Kirklees Council staff, supported the local charities in the collection and chipping of 2,500 trees, making them ready for re-use across the local community.

Clr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “I’m delighted to hear that this year’s Christmas tree recycling was a success.

“Not only is it great news for both charities involved, the treecycling programme has given 1,500 trees a new lease of life in the local community too.

“I’d like to congratulate all involved, including the volunteers for their efforts and everyone who made a donation to help fund the vital work of these two local charities.”

Mark Doyle from Kirklees Council’s cleansing team

Gareth Pierce, director of income generation at Forget Me Not Hospice, said: “We had such a fantastic response to the campaign, which saw us collecting over 1,000 Christmas trees – this simply wouldn’t have been possible without our incredible volunteers.

“It’s great to be able to offer this service across Kirklees and it helps us to raise vital funds – in fact this year we raised over £12,400 which has been more important than ever, given the pandemic has stopped us fundraising in our other usual ways.

“This money is going to go a long way to helping children with life-shortening conditions and their families all across West Yorkshire.”

Katie Hirst, from The Kirkwood, said: “After what has been an incredibly tough year, the Kirkwood are delighted to say that this year’s Christmas tree collections have been our biggest yet!

“This year, our volunteers have collected almost 1,500 trees from across Kirklees, raising almost £22,000 for The Kirkwood. This money means we can continue to support the most vulnerable people in our community when they need us most.

“The collections wouldn’t have been possible without local volunteers and businesses and we would like to thank Kirklees Council for their help in providing volunteers, vehicles, drop points, chippers and promotion for the campaign! We can’t wait to work with them again next year!”