A FAMILY has opened its Christmas tree to the public to hang messages on in memory of deceased loved ones in aid of a cancer charity.

In exchange for a donation, visitors can hang a disc bearing a message to their loved ones on the tree in Lynn Docherty’s garden in Witton-le-Wear, County Durham.

Mrs Docherty and her family are allowing access to their tree at specific times to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care.

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She said: “I usually do work for Macmillan, but haven’t had so much time this year. I was a bit put out by not being able to do as much, so thought this would be a nice way to make up for it.”

The tree was donated by the Forestry Commission from Hamsterley Forest, while discs and lights came from some of Ms Docherty’s closes friends.

Her family put the tree up for her after she fell last week, suffering a painful injury.

She said: “So many people have helped to do this and I would like to thank them all.”

People are invited to visit the tree in her garden at St James Gardens from 2.45pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, and 1pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, until Christmas Eve.