A CHARITY which supports people with incurable illnesses is expanding its popular Christmas tree initiative to include people living in Tendring as well as Colchester.

St Helena Hospice will this year mark the 7th anniversary of its celebrated Christmas Tree-cycle scheme, which is held at the beginning of every January.

The project, which is supported by the Colchester Borough Council and now Tendring Council, encourages people to dispose of their real trees after the festive season.

It works by enlisting the help of the charity’s workers who collect and recycle the trees in exchange for a small donation to the organisation.

This year, people living in the CO15 and CO16 postcode areas will be able to register their tree for collection, alongside those in the CO1 to CO9 and CO11 areas.

Rachel Joy, fundraiser for St Helena, explained: “We are so excited to be expanding into Tendring for our Christmas Tree-cycle in 2021.

“We are thrilled to offer this service to our incredible supporters in Clacton-on-Sea and surrounding areas.

“2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, and with the uncertainty we all still face, we want to help by ticking one small thing off everyone’s list.

“Not only is this one less job to worry about in the New Year, but you can also take pride in knowing that your support will make sure patients and families facing a crisis over the festive season are never alone.”

Councillor Michael Talbot, Tendring Council’s cabinet member for the environment, is a firm believer in the importance of the scheme.

He added: “Knowing what to do with your Christmas tree after the festive period can be a tricky decision, and now it is easy.

“Not only get rid of your tree responsibly you can also support a fantastic local charity too.

“Let’s help get St Helena Hospice its biggest year yet for Tree-cycle and sign up today.”

St Helena Hospice’s Tree-cycle grew to new heights last year, as volunteers collected a record 2,064 trees raising over £23,000 for the charity.

This year’s collection will take place on Saturday January 9 and registration for the Christmas Tree-cycle is now open online at sthelena.org.uk/tree-cycle21.

If you would like to volunteer contact a member of the fundraising team on 01206 931468.