MORE than £12,000 has been raised for Teesside Hospice through a Christmas tree recycling scheme.

The initiative, supported by Northgate Vehicle Hire, Oakdale NE LTD Tree Surgeons and organised in partnership with Just Helping, saw six vans and 54 volunteers collect trees from more than 1,400 Teesside homes in return for a donation.

It raised more than £12,500 for the hospice and fundraising manager Kim Bradley said this would fund more than 48 hours of care.

She added: “I would like to thank everyone who was involved, including those who registered their tree and made a donation to the hospice."

Iain Graham, director at Oakdale, said: “We can’t believe how many Christmas trees were collected and brought to us to be chipped.

"Thank you to everyone who has supported the scheme, it will make such a difference to local areas.”

Northgate Vehicle Hire branch manager, John Saint said: “Overall we provided six vans over the three days of the collection to support the Teesside Hospice Christmas tree recycling scheme.

"The scheme is a great initiative for the community and we were pleased to support the hospice again this year, and to see how many households got involved.”