Peterborough family gift homegrown Christmas tree to Sue Ryder hospice in memory of loved one

December 14, 2023

A Peterborough family has donated a 16-foot fir to their local Sue Ryder hospice in a bid to spread a little Christmas cheer to patients and their families this festive season.

The tree has been donated to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough by Gillian Davies from Orton Waterville in memory of Brian Davies, a much-loved husband, dad and granddad.

Brian was cared for at home by the hospice team during the final days of his life in 2021, and his daughter, Zoë, who became a Sue Ryder community fundraiser after being inspired by the care her dad received, has had it transported from her mum and dads’ home to the hospice for all to see.

“When mum and dad moved from Longthorpe to Orton Waterville 11 years ago, the tree was just about a foot tall. Dad had decorated it with lights, which he never actually took down, so as the tree grew, they grew around it,” Zoë recalls. “Dad loved Christmas and always made it extra special so not long after I started working at the hospice, my mum said to me that she would really love to donate a Christmas tree from their garden to the hospice to remember dad and give back to the amazing staff there for everything they did to support us. Not only did they care for my dad, but they also looked after us as a family; my mum, sister and brother and me too. Even after dad died, they would check in on mum and make sure she was ok. It really meant a lot.”

The Christmas tree has taken pride of place in the hospice courtyard.

“We always had a ‘sharing tree’ growing up, one in our garden or in the front window for everyone to enjoy so it seems apt that we are sharing our homegrown tree with staff, patients and their families at the hospice. We hope it will bring a little joy to everyone at what is a really difficult time,” Zoë added.

Allison Mann, Service Director at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said: “We are incredibly grateful for this tree-mendous gift from our community fundraiser, Zoë, and her family. It will really ‘spruce’ up our hospice this festive season alongside the other trees that have been generously donated by local businesses, bringing joy to our staff, patients, and their families this Christmas.”

Sue Ryder is looking for volunteers and vans to help with the Treecycling collections in the New Year. Contact the fundraising team at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice on 01733 225 999 or email: to sign up and lend your support.

To find out more about the environmentally friendly fundraising collection drive in Peterborough, supported by Nene Valley Tree Services and Safe Local Trades, and to book a collection in selected postcodes by midnight on 1 January visit