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Collaborating for Christmas with Merrist Wood

January 12, 2023

This year we held our first Christmas tree collection in exchange for a kind donation, saving people the hassle, time and faff of disposing their Christmas trees (and stopping their cars from being filled with little needles.)

Over 375 trees were collected across TW and GU postcodes, with the money donated going towards helping us provide vital care for the families we support. It was a huge team effort, with an army of volunteers and amazing community support, including Merrist Wood college.

Merrist Wood is a college that specialises in the land-based industries and 95% of students that have completed a programme with them have progressed directly into employment or onto higher-level learning.

As well as an amazing educational institute, the 400-acre estate with woodlands, wetlands, livestock, gardens, grasslands, a campus nursery, workshops, and design studios and more, also had the means to support us collect Christmas trees sustainably. With the kind volunteer elves who collected the trees, delivering these to Merrist Wood where the trees were put into a state-of-the-art chipping machine and composted by some of the college students, giving them the opportunity to learn how to use such equipment and compost sustainably.

Sarah Markham, from Merrist Wood, shared “We are thrilled to have been a part of such a successful fundraising initiative with Shooting Star Children’s Hospices this Christmas. Community partnerships are something we strongly believe in and, working together in this way, closely aligns to Activate Learning’s vision. We are proud to have been invited to be involved. Not only have our Arboriculture and Countryside students gained some really valuable experience using our Först Chipper, the tree chippings will be mulched down and used in the many flowerbeds around our campus.

We wish Shooting Stars well with future fundraising activities and would be delighted to partner up with them again.”

Rumour Giles, our Corporate Relationship Manager, who organised this wonderful Christmas tree collection, said “Thank you so much for everyone’s support at Merrist Wood and it was incredible seeing the students getting involved with chipping the tree’s and gaining first hand experience with the machinery. It was lovely to have so many events going on at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices last Christmas, and it is important to find new ways to raise funds so that we can continue supporting children and families.”

We appreciate all the help from the volunteers and Merrist Wood for being involved with last year’s Christmas Tree collection. Find out more about how to support your local children’s hospice.