The first Christmas tree collection
In 2001 the first volunteer-led Christmas tree collection was made in Macclesfield in Cheshire, with the local hospice beneficiary of the funds raised.
Manual Route Planning
Route planning was elementary and based on the local map book with only a few hundred trees to collect.
As the number of collections grew into the thousands, the addresses were automatically sorted into pre-determined rectilinear areas drawn upon an OS map.
This arrangement served the collection well until 2017, when the sheer weight of numbers demanded a further update.
Optimised Vehicle Collection Routes
It was then that 121 Systems became involved with their Pulse Platform, which generated actual routes for the collection vans to follow.
With around 7000 trees to collect using a fleet of over 40 vans and completed in just the two days of a weekend, the routes had to be precise and accurate.
In the following years, the East Cheshire Hospice Christmas Tree Collection has continued to use the Pulse Platform graduating to the point where volunteers from the collection process the routes themselves using remote access each year.
It has proved to be a success all around, and many others of the 128 hospices now running Christmas tree collections also use 121 Systems.
East Cheshire Hospice
East Cheshire Hospice cares for those facing life-limiting illnesses, and this care is administered through an in-patient unit, a day-care centre and with their Hospice @Home service.
Not only do the patients receive the medical attention that they need, but their families and friends are supported through and after this challenging time.
To operate this collection service over an area covering the whole of East Cheshire requires £7500 a day over and above anything that comes from government funds.
The Christmas Tree Collection, which raises around £150,000 a year, is a vital part of the fundraising efforts of the local community to achieve this target.
And thanks to 121 Systems, their job each January is made just that little easier!