SSEN helps Wiltshire hospice to break its fundraising record

Two men in high vis with Christmas trees in the background

Image above shows SSEN's Thomas Gardiner with just one of the many volunteers who helped Dorothy House Hospice Care with the Christmas tree fund-raiser

The dilemma of disposing of old Christmas trees in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way may be over thanks to a fundraising scheme run by a Wiltshire hospice and supported by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN). 

Each January, for the past four years, Dorothy House Hospice Care has gathered real trees from homes and businesses across areas including Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury, Corsham, Bath and Frome. By asking people to sign up to the scheme that sees their old tree chipped for a small donation, they have been raising money through recycling and SSEN has been on hand to provide vehicles, chippers and colleagues to help them. 

Last month, SSEN’s Thomas Gardiner – who is based in the company’s Ridgeway region - volunteered his time through the distribution networks operator’s Be the Difference scheme, helping the hospice to reach a record-breaking £40,000 by joining other volunteers to collect over 3,500 trees, then chipping and shredding them to provide reusable materials for the local community. 

Chris Stevens is SSEN’s Tree Cutting Manager for the local area and said: “Four years ago, we took part in this scheme and could see the potential for helping Dorothy House Hospice Care to raise vital funds, while encouraging people to recycle their trees so that the by product could then be used again locally in areas such as green spaces, parks and playgrounds. 

“Sustainability is high on SSEN’s agenda, so to be able to boost the local area’s environment through recycling and raise money for a local charity at the same time was something we were obviously keen to be involved in. Using his Be the Difference day enabled Thomas to take time away from his usual role to help the Hospice and we’re delighted to hear that they’ve raised a staggering £40,000 this year alone.” 

Steph Cox, community fundraiser for Dorothy House Hospice Care said: “This is our fourth Christmas tree collection and we are thrilled to have raised £40,000 in vital funds to support local hospice care and to have collected a staggering 3,500 trees in total; including 1,100 trees in Bath alone. 

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers and donors for their generous help and to Tom at SSEN for his continued support.” 

As part of SSEN’s ‘Be the Difference’ scheme, every SSEN employee is encouraged to take a day away from their usual job and volunteer to help local charities and community projects of their choice. Since the launch of the volunteering programme, it has helped over 2,500 projects, with SSEN employees dedicating their time to projects that matter in their local communities.