Christmas tree collection could raise record amount for Sheffield Children's Hospital

A charity Christmas tree collection service could raise a record amount for Sheffield Children’s Hospital - after getting almost 2,500 bookings over the festive period.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 1:04 pm
Gardeners Mitchel Ingham of JM Groundcare and Joel Berry of Berry's Tree and Gardens are running a Christmas tree pick-up service, donating every penny raised to Sheffield Children's Hospital. Mitchel is pictured collecting Christmas Trees from Sheffield Cathedral. Picture: Chris Etchells

Landscape gardeners Mitchel Ingham and Joel Berry are hoping to raise £14,000 for the Children’s Hospital Charity, in just the second year they have operated the service.

They took over the service last year from long-time operator Andrew Powell, who retired in 2017 after running the scheme for five years.

And they are hoping that with more experience they can make the service even bigger and better next year, possibly collecting up to 3,000 trees and raising even more for the hospital.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Gardeners Mitchel Ingham of JM Groundcare and Joel Berry of Berry's Tree and Gardens are running a Christmas tree pick-up service, donating every penny raised to Sheffield Children's Hospital. Mitchel is pictured collecting Christmas Trees from Sheffield Cathedral. Picture: Chris Etchells

Mitchel, who runs JM Groundcare in Dronfield, said after last year’s teething problems, the system this year was working much better.

He said: “The new website has been great this year and we have got more vans and employed more people as well.

“Me and Joel last year gave three weeks up but we collected 600 trees yesterday and could be finished by the weekend.

“The most Andrew raised was £14,000 so we are aiming to match that this time and get even more next year.”

Gardeners Mitchel Ingham of JM Groundcare and Joel Berry of Berry's Tree and Gardens are running a Christmas tree pick-up service, donating every penny raised to Sheffield Children's Hospital. Mitchel is pictured collecting Christmas Trees from Sheffield Cathedral. Picture: Chris Etchells

For people awaiting collection, Mitchel said the main thing to remember was for them to leave their tree outside their houses, and not to expect them to arrive at a certain time.

“We put quite a lot of effort into advertising this year but some people are still leaving the trees in their houses and think we are coming on a certain date like Amazon,” he said.

“But the system has generally worked well this time so we’re hoping to extend it to Rotherham next year.

“It is the travelling time which is the major thing slowing us down - but using vans like this one which can fit 60 trees in and having more collection points has really helped.”

The service has this year seen Mitchel and Joel, who runs the Sheffield-based Berry’s Trees and Gardens, appear on ITV Calendar and Radio Sheffield.

Once collected, the trees will be taken to several collection points around Sheffield and will eventually be chipped by biomass company AW Jenkinson.