WHEN my husband, Steve, died after being looked after by the expert team at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, I decided I wanted to give something back. That’s when I got involved in volunteering for Sue Ryder’s Christmas Treecycling scheme – this year will be my fifth year of getting involved, and I would recommend it to anyone.

I started helping from the very beginning when the scheme was just starting out. Skipton Self Drive loaned us some vehicles, and we worked with Keighley Tree Services to chip the trees and sell on the chippings for biofuel. Some people ask when we’re picking them up where we take them, local landowners sometimes want trees to shore up fencing or protect their animals. There’s always usage out of the wood in the end. It’s very eco-friendly.

We have volunteers on the vans from 8am to 9pm every day. It’s probably the hardest physical fundraising we do, but it’s perfect after indulging at Christmas! We raise a massive amount of money, and without a big outlay either.

I would encourage anyone to give it a go, we are always looking for more volunteers and people who do it for the first time always say how much they enjoy it.

You need to be a good driver and physically able to do the role, as you’re in and out of a van and dragging trees around for a three-hour shift. If it sounds like something you want to try, then come give it a go!

To sign up to volunteer this year contact the fundraising team at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice on 01535 640430 or email: manorlands.fundraising@sueryder.org To find out more about the environmentally friendly fundraising collection drive in Airedale, Wharfedale and The Dales, supported by Skipton Self Drive and Keighley Tree Services and to book a collection by noon on Friday 5 January visit www.sueryder.org/dalestreecycling.

Bea Hopwood