Farmers stores throughout New Zealand are going all out in support of a worthy cause.
Their annual remembrance trees have returned for another festive season to raise money for hospices around the country.

The two Hawke's Bay stores, in Napier and Hastings have decorated their Christmas trees in a bid to raise money for the local Cranford Hospice.

Cranford Hospice chief executive Janice Byford-Jones said they appreciated the support they had received.

"We are very fortunate to receive such wonderful support from the community.
People can give towards Cranford Hospice via the Tree of Remembrance or by purchasing a specially designed bauble by New Zealand artist Flox for $10.


Everyone who makes a donation will receive a card to write a personal message that they can then place on the dedicated remembrance tree.

"The Tree of Remembrance is an opportunity to remember someone special in the lead up to Christmas. After the campaign, Cranford Hospice will collect the tags and undertake a small ceremony that includes a blessing," Ms Byford-Jones said.

The Tree of Remembrance is part of the overarching campaign, Caring Connections in our Community, which reflects the community based nature of hospice services and the sense of connection that Farmers has in the community.

They aim to help people living with a life-limiting condition make the most of their lives; to live every moment in whatever way is important to them.

This is the third year that Farmers has raised funds through this campaign.
Last year, more than $675,000 was donated to hospice services throughout the country, with $22,283 raised in Hawke's Bay alone.

Cranford Hospice provides free services to 161,500 people in Hawke's Bay, and last year they made more than 6000 community visits.

The fundraiser will run until Christmas Eve, with all funds donated remaining in the local community to ensure hospice services remain free of charge.

"All funds raised in Hastings and Napier will remain in our community to support Cranford Hospice and enable us to offer our services at no cost to the patients or their family/whanau."

Farmers Hastings store manager, Tammy Kupa said it was important to support the local hospice.

"It is such an important part that all money raised is put back into local hospices around the country. Really awesome for families to be giving back to the community.

"It has personally affected a lot of people in our stores. Hospice has played a huge part of people's lives, as well as with our staff, either indirectly or directly."

Farmers Napier and Hastings are aiming to raise as much as last year, plus more.

"We have got a little friendly rivalry with the Napier Farmers. We bet them last year quite significantly and they are already on fire and out to get us," Ms Kupa said.

"This year, all the hospice clinical nurse specialists had sessions with our staff about Cranford Hospice and the work they do."

Last year, the baubles in the Hastings store sold out.

"It is a nice thing for customers to purchase for people they want to remember."

Napier's store manager, Tom Dickinson, said their target was to earn more funds than last year.

"This year, any money raised for Cranford Hospice will go towards purchasing special extra-comfortable mattresses. It is good to know what we are raising for."