MISERABLE weather did not hamper the success of this year’s East Cheshire Hospice Christmas tree collection, which has raised more than £115,000.

More than 7,000 trees were collected, giving the appeal an 18 per cent increase in donations from last year.

The collection faced set-backs due to bad weather, forcing organisers to postpone at the last minute until January 21 and 22.

But this did not deter donors or volunteers and collections were made from across the borough including Knutsford, Chelford, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow.

Richard Raymond, co-organiser of the tree collection, said: “We’re delighted with the record total raised and the decision to postpone the collection fully paid off.

“We had almost 40 vans out each day and the delay meant we had to reorganise the rota because some of our 250 volunteers couldn’t make it for various reasons but everyone rallied round and did an amazing job.

“The delay even meant we took an extra 150 bookings and we’d like to thank everyone who donated so generously. It’s really appreciated by the patients and their families.

“We’d also like to thank the volunteers who helped in so many ways, whether it was making cakes, telephone calls or collecting trees.”

Organisers also voiced their gratitude event sponsors including Sodexo, Cheshire Vehicle Rentals, butcher JJJ Heathcote, Avanti Signs, Flour Water Salt and many others.

As a result of the success, the charity has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which was presented by David Briggs MBE, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire and Hospice President on the first morning of the collection.

David Rutley, Macclesfield MP, added: “It is always a pleasure to support such a great community initiative, which goes from strength to strength and continues to raise much-needed funds for East Cheshire Hospice.”