New Directions has won the Rugby Mayor’s Choice and the public vote with our incredible recycled Christmas tree entry at St. Andrew’s Church Festival of Trees 2019. The event raises funds for charities in the local community and last year Rugby Dementia Support received the donation. This year’s theme reflects the church’s Eco Gold Award so people who attend New Directions’ ‘Community Choices Network’ created a plastic free Christmas tree. Everyone involved got creative through art sessions and began to build the tree made from used newspapers donated by staff and people we support. The only plastic used for the tree was the festive lights. The construction of the tree was complex with an inner pole, spacers and cane branches with fringed newspaper.

Everyone made decorations from papier-mâché, recycled church candle wax, sewing and card. Ian coloured the angel for the top of the tree. Everyone took the plastic free idea on board even down to what drawing materials used. For example because felt tips are made from plastic, they were replaced with pencils. During the official opening ceremony, the room was dark and there was an official lights switch on.

“I am glad we won it was good though. Me and Bob went to the church and we could vote as well. It’s amazing what I have learned.”



Attendee at Community Choices Network

“We are all very proud of our eco-friendly tree. The people we support now have a much better understanding about the use and recycling of plastic.”

Sarah Patching

Support and Activity Worker

After the final Christingle Service on Saturday 23rd December 2019, the winners were announced. There were three prizes. The Mayor selected two winning trees; one created by adults and one by children and the third tree voted for by the public. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to take part in a community event. The tree festival celebrates the festive season and brings joy to many people who come to see it.

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