Catsfield Christmas tree farmer supports ski club

Christmas tree farmer Clive Collins SUS-151124-144147001
Christmas tree farmer Clive Collins SUS-151124-144147001

A Catsfield Christmas tree farmer, who injured his spine when falling from a tree a quarter of a century ago, has made donations of cash and a Christmas tree to the Southern Ski Club for the Disabled.

Farmer Clive Collins says like all business he gets many requests from people needing help but felt a donation of £100 along with a Christmas tree voucher to be raffled by the charity to help fund skiing trips abroad was a worthy cause. “We are only a small business but we have been very successful especially in the last few years so I feel that it is important to give something back,” he said.

“When I heard about the Southern Disabled Ski Club (SSCD) and that they needed help with funding I really liked the idea of helping other disabled people get more enjoyment out of life. Wheelchair users like myself are restricted in the types of sports we can do but, with the help of able bodied volunteers and facilities such as Knockhatch Ski Centre being so generous, skiing is something we can gain huge enjoyment from doing. I am hoping to join the club at Knockhatch in January.”

Clive injured his spine when he fell from a tree 25 years ago while working as a forester. During his recovery he decided to grow Christmas trees and has since built up a successful business in Catsfield, with the help of business partner Phil Reynolds, selling thousands of trees to people and business across the area. He now works with and inspires other disabled people who want to start their own businesses.

Clive says he loved sit skiing when he tried it a few years ago. “I am really impressed with the work of the SSCD,” he said. “It is really important that disabled people of all ages are given the opportunity to participate in sports like skiing. I am delighted to be helping the charity.”

Events officer for SSCD and mother of a disabled skier, Shirley Brunger, says skiing is an opportunity to develop self-confidence that comes with shared experience of participating in a sport. “Based on 30 years of helping people with disabilities SSCD helps people learn and enjoy skiing whether they are blind, paraplegic, have MS or special learning needs. We make it possible to give skiers a sense of achievement along with independence and self-confidence.”

Clive’s £100 donation to SSCD was matched by his PR agency Blueberry PR whose founder Suzi Christie is also a keen skier. He also donated a voucher for a Christmas tree which was raffled by the club to raise funds.

SSCD is appealing for able-bodied skiers who can help their members, particularly with skiing trips abroad.

Contact Ian Edwards on 07775 687648.

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