As part of Lodge Service community engagement and charity work, Darren Conway and Jenni Jetzer, linked in with Longfield Hospice, located deep in the heart of the Cotswolds to support their Christmas tree collection event. For a small donation to the hospice, local residents throughout the area, were able to leave their tree on the kerbside, and volunteers arrived to collect the tree for recycling……
Turning up at the hospice before 8am, the bacon roll and coffee were hot and welcoming as the rain continued to fall outside. A debrief, issuing of the PPE, packed lunch, van keys and our route soon was completed and it was on our merry way. As Lodge head office was located in Cirencester, this was the route given to us..
Christmas trees have an uncanny knack of retaining the water that was falling from the skys and as we started the collections we started to get drenched! The trees ranged from 2ft with barely any needles and brown in colour, to 8ft with not a needle missing and the price tag still attached…. Either way they were wet!
As we passed through Cirencester town, a quick pit stop at the office, check the emails, warm the hands and grab a coffee, before back on the road for the second half. After a few more hours we were completed, the box van filled to the brim, destination – recycling centre.
As we followed the sat nav, we passed a cage van full in the back with Christmas trees, this is always a worry! So a quick U turn and we decided its safer to follow a look alike van than Google! (this tactic does have floors sometimes so don’t follow this). Fortunately we caught up and were led to the site to offload.
Quickly this became a race to beat them offloading, they had a tipper van, so an unfair advantage…… Either way, playing the game – who can throw the trees the highest on the pile, we definitely won!
Quick journey back to the hospice, hand in the PPE and keys, quick cuppa and shortbread and the day was done. Well apart from a few photos with Claire Ellis, Longfield Hospice’s, Event and Community Fundraiser who had done an outstanding job to pull all this together, with I believe over 2700 trees to collect in total. That’s some route planning!
It was great to see so many volunteers for such a worthy cause and great to be part of the community for Lodge Services. Here’s to next year – just remember the waterproofs!