More than 50 schools across North Nottinghamshire are getting into the festive spirit early this year by claiming a free locally grown Christmas tree, thanks to an initiative from North Notts BID.
The trees – which have been provided by the Retford and Gainsborough Garden Centre – were available to all schools in the area, with 52 taking up the offer.
The response to the initiative this year has been overwhelmingly positive, with four times as many schools requesting trees than last year.
Sally Gillborn, chief executive of North Notts BID, said: “We introduced this initiative for the first time in 2019, and the take-up this year has been overwhelming. When we first spoke with Retford and Gainsborough Garden Centre about working together on this, we anticipated around 15 or 20 schools being involved, so to have more than doubled that number is amazing.”
Not only does this initiative aim to bring Christmas cheer to local schools around the region, it also helps to support Retford and Gainsborough Garden Centre, which has welcomed the BID’s custom.
Sally continued: “2020 has been a tough year for many communities across North Nottinghamshire, and we are committed to continuing to support those that need help to ensure that the district as a whole comes out the other side of the pandemic in the best shape possible.”
Jill Foster, owner of Retford and Gainsborough Garden Centre, said “We’re thrilled to be working with North Notts BID on this initiative. We feel that – now more than ever – this fabulous gesture from the BID brings some much-needed Christmas spirit and excitement back into the schools and we fully support and back their efforts.
“In addition, the fact that our trees are grown just over the county border in Lincolnshire means that we’re also able to support local tree growers during this difficult time as well.”
One of the schools that took part in the scheme is Outwood Academy Valley, which took delivery of a seven-foot tree.
David Cavill, principal of Outwood Academy Valley, said: “We want to thank Retford and Gainsborough Garden Centre and North Notts BID for providing us with a Christmas tree this year. The smiles we see on our children’s faces when they see Christmas trees around the Academy are priceless, and it helps to get all of the students into the Christmas spirit.”