This weekend the Lifestyle van was out with a fleet of other vehicles picking up Christmas trees throughout the Borough of Bury!
Organised by a group of ex firefighters, we were a part of a chaotic three-day Christmas tree collection.

In the name of raising money for Bury Hospice local residents donated to have their old spruces and firs collected by a group of over 15 volunteers. So, we rolled out the hi-vis jackets and set to work giving a whole new meaning to Fast and ‘Fir-ious’.

Coordinating such an event is a massive team effort, and everybody involved went above and beyond, despite the heavens decision to open. So how does the process work? In the weeks leading up to the event, the hospice collects orders and donations. This is then collated and set into routes throughout the Borough, each route then being distributed between the volunteers, and voila! The tree collection commences!

Now, I don’t know about you but personally, we couldn’t fit +1204 trees into the back of our shall we say ‘humbly’ sized van, but not to worry! To enable places to off load, ‘drop-offs’ were organised in key locations to allow drivers to drop off collected trees. These were then chopped up by a team of volunteer tree surgeons! All of this was executed over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

So there we were at 8am, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready for our Saturday tree collection shift. What followed can only be described as a baptism of fire for Ryan and Matthew, with the general consensus being that it was the worst weather they had seen since starting the fundraising event six years ago.

The first Lifestyle route covered Summerseat and Ramsbottom and with our, relatively little van, we could only fit 6-8 trees into the van – not quite the 1204 in need of collecting! As you can imagine, that meant we had to make more than a few trips back to our drop-off at Holly Mount. This compared to some of the big players, Senior Waste who could load a lot of trees in one trip and do a lot more. But we put our van to good work and got to tree collecting with a skip in our step and a smile on our faces.

The Lifestyle Team consisted of Ryan, Matthew and Ian – Ian being the veteran collector to show Ryan and Matthew the ropes of how to be a seasoned tree collecting professional. It took a good handle of google maps, waterproofs and a shed load of tea to get all the trees collected into the back of the van. By the time lunch (which was provided) around 12:00 arrived we indulged in a much-needed break, before we tackled our second route covering Elton and Fishpool. It got dark around 4:00pm which finished us off, in total our team managed to get 66 trees collected and dropped off! A job well done.

We want to say a big thanks for having us, and to mention a few: Bespoke Landscapes, Parcelfast, Senior Waste Removals and all the volunteers, who donated their time and equipment for the collection.

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