More than 2,000 Christmas trees were collected by Hospiscare volunteers for recycling earlier this month, raising £38,000 for the charity.

Collections took place in Exeter, Exmouth, Ottery St Mary, Honiton, Sidmouth, Tiverton and Crediton, with people making a donation to Hospiscare for each tree.

Hospiscare's funding projects manager Laura Robertson said: “We are so grateful to our community for supporting our Christmas tree recycling scheme every year and helping us raise an incredible amount of money.

"Your donations help ensure patients and families living with terminal illness can access our services when they need it most.

"We also couldn’t do it without the support of the local businesses who give up their time to collect trees. 2024 is set to be challenging as we face a £2.5 million funding gap and threat to our services, making fundraising more important than ever.”

All funds raised will help Hospiscare to continue providing specialist end-of-life services to local patients and their families across the heart of Devon.

This year’s recycling scheme was supported by 78 volunteers and 26 local businesses, including the car and van rental company Thrifty which provided vehicles and volunteers.

A spokesperson for Thrifty said: “We've been proudly supporting Hospiscare, one of our charity partners, for several years. The excellent care they provide has benefitted the family and friends of several of our employees. We’re delighted to be supporting such a great cause.”

The recycling of the trees helps to reduce landfill waste. The University of Exeter chips trees into mulch which is used in various ways across the campus, and Coastal Recycling turns the trees into a high-quality compost which can be used to grow Christmas trees in the future.

Hospiscare’s Christmas Tree Recycling works in partnership with JustHelping, who support volunteers, businesses and charities to contribute to their community and the environment.

Any business, van owner or driver who would like to volunteer to collect trees for Hospiscare in January 2025 is asked to email to register their interest.