Branch out into helping others by donating a tree to a project that is spreading festive cheer

Hayley Dolbear is for trees to hand out to those who cannot afford one: Megan, Hayley and

Hayley Dolbear is for trees to hand out to those who cannot afford one: Megan, Hayley and Isabella Dolbear. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A sizeable dose of seasonal cheer is set to be spread across the Fens thanks to a March mum who for the second year is collecting Christmas trees and decorations to give to charities and families in need.

Hayley Dolbear handed out 150 trees last December and is this year sending out an appeal to get collecting again.

She has already been pledged decorations and toys from Ikea to go to local women’s refuge centres and is loaning her tree collection to Cancer Research in Cambridge for a festive charity pudding run in the city centre and for the March Santa Run.

“I can’t believe the generosity of people who want to get involved and help others who find Christmas a financial worry.

“I’m now collecting trees and decorations for this year’s project and am also looking for charities or people who would like a tree. Some people get embarrassed asking for help so if neighbours or friends know of anybody that could benefit then do get in touch,” she said.

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The project, called Treebank25, went down a storm last year and she is hoping to register it as a charity but said the paperwork side had become confusing and if anybody could help or advise her on how to do it then to also get in touch.


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“Treebank25 is a simple idea but one that works. We gather tees and decorations from those who can afford them and hand them out to those that can’t.”

Hayley said: “The response last year was overwhelming.”

She decided to collect goodies after experiencing a difficult Christmas when she had to make the decision whether to buy presents for her girls or a tree to brighten up her home when her marriage ended.

The gifts won the day but when a neighbour noticed she had no decorations she brought one for her to put up.

The gesture was so moving that Hayley decided to help others in the same situation once she was back on her feet.

To contact her email

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