A MOTHER’s idea for a community tree has brought some Christmas cheer to a Gunnislake estate.

Poppy Jasper, 28 came up with the idea to install a Christmas tree at the entrance to Woodland Way estate where she felt many residents were left out of the village’s celebrations.

At the weekend residents were invited to decorate the tree and add their own personal touch in the hope that it would bring the community together and spread some joy to families during the festive period, in particular the younger and older generation.

Poppy said: “Every year the village is lit up. But when you drive up to the estate there is nothing there.

“There’s a percentage of the village that are left out such as those that don’t want to walk down or struggle to access the main part of the village.

“It’s the biggest estate in the village where a lot of families live.

“I said why don’t we get a tree and get the kids to decorate it so they feel involved. I wanted something the community can feel proud of.”

Poppy explained that she approached local group, Gunnislake Community Matters (GCM) to talk about plans for the estate and GCM offered to fund the tree.

The locally-sourced tree was put up on Saturday (December 9) with thanks to help from the village’s residents. Around 30 people turned up to decorate the tree and make it their own. From broken decorations, to earrings, the community, both young and old, gathered to hang something on the tree and decorations were shared out so that no one felt excluded.

Poppy highlighted that she was overwhelmed by the support from the community that helped to make the experience truly heart warming.

“It was lovely for everyone to come together”, she said.

“Volunteers dug the hole for the tree, local people were walking up with bags of baubles and everyone joined in and helped how they could.

‘Local group, ‘Friends Together’ donated refreshments.

“It went really well, better than I expected. “I’ve lived here 28 years and this has never been done.

“People on the estate know each other but as nothing really happens this got people talking and brought people out of their homes.

“It really felt like a community coming together.”

The tree also had a special meaning for those who had lost loved ones.

“Memory branches” were added to the tree. These were memorial cards with the names of loved ones that had passed away which were then laminated by Poppy’s mum, Natalie and placed on the tree.

“It’s not just a tree and it wasn’t just decorative, the tree meant something to everyone”, added Poppy.

“A lot of people have thanked me for including them.

“It’s our tree, that was the premise. Everybody will be able to make use of it.”

The community tree has brought generations together to celebrate the festive period and Poppy hopes that it will become an annual tradition. She also hopes it will inspire others to do the same “if it inspires one other community then that’s what it’s all about.”