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Christmas tree boost for homeless

PUBLISHED: 06:00 03 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:08 03 March 2010

HOMELESS volunteers are getting into the festive spirit by helping with the harvest and sale of Christmas trees.

The unique project involves four homeless people joining forces with staff from Snowgreen Christmas Trees, of Hall Road, Kesgrave, to help fell and process the trees.

HOMELESS volunteers are getting into the festive spirit by helping with the harvest and sale of Christmas trees.

The unique project involves four homeless people joining forces with staff from Snowgreen Christmas Trees, of Hall Road, Kesgrave, to help fell and process the trees.

The four, who are all from the London area, are spending time working on the company's Byng Hall Road farm, in Ufford, for £4.91 an hour, the standard agricultural wage. They will be helping to shift the estimated 500,000 Christmas trees on the site.

The project, which is the brainchild of homeless charity Crisis, will see the trees sold in the car parks of selected Safeway supermarkets by the volunteers. Money from the scheme will go towards paying the worker's wages and to the homeless charities of Crisis.

David Chater , of Crisis, said: "A huge number of homeless people want to work and this project gives them the opportunity to work in a team on equal terms.

"It helps build their confidence and self esteem and also gives them an up-to-date reference. It has been a massive success."

The quartet will continue to work on the farm until December 5, when they will return to London to sell the trees until December 22.

Wayde Rathbone, of Snowgreen Christmas Trees, said: "The people from Crisis have been very useful and their attitude has been great. It gives them a purpose to wake up in the morning and makes them feel part of a team."

Snowgreen will be selling Christmas trees from the entrance of their offices, in Hall Road, Kesgrave, from December 2. They will also be collecting money for Crisis through donation boxes.

WEBLINKS

www.snowgreen.co.uk

www.crisis.org.uk

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