Tall oaks from little acorns grow - a March-based Christmas tree charity looks set to go national.

Hayley Dolbear has collected more than 150 trees they are now looking for people who want one so tha

Hayley Dolbear has collected more than 150 trees they are now looking for people who want one so that she can hand them out. Left: Megan, Hayley and Isabella Dolbear. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A Mum who is spreading a sizeable dose of seasonal cheer by collecting more than 150 Christmas trees to give to people in need has had such a positive response she is registering the idea as a charity.

Hayley Dolbear spent a year collecting used and nearly new trees ready to hand out this Christmas via the March Foodbank and charity groups like the Ferry Project in Wisbech.

She now hopes the idea, called Treebank25, can be taken national.

Ms Dolbear said: “We collect unwanted good quality trees, lights and decorations and hand them out to people who want them. It’s a simple idea but one that works.”

The idea has prompted a £5,000 anonymous donation to give the scheme charity status, a £500 donation from Tesco and been featured in national press and regional TV stations.

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Ms Dolbear said: “The response has been overwhelming. It’s been an emotional ride. To see a small idea get so big so quick is great.”

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.

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The gifts won the day but when a neighbour noticed she had no decorations up for the festive season she brought her round an old one.

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

Ms Dolbear said: “One of the TV crews questioned if people were really that poor in this country and I say there are hundreds of people out there living on the poverty line or struggling at Christmas time who, if offered a free tree, would jump at the chance.

“There are 2.5m people who will miss a credit card payment this month because of Christmas. The fact we need Foodbanks prove there are people in need.

“I just hope this small gesture can help brighten somebody’s Christmas,” she said.

To contact her email treebank25@gmail.com.

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