BUSINESS people swapped suits for bright festive jumpers to raise money for charity.

Staff at companies across Braintree and Witham donned their silliest sweaters on December 18 as part of ITV’s Text Santa Christmas Jumper Day.

Workers at Lynderswood Business Park off London Road, Braintree, rose to the occasion and even included several office pets in the festivities.

Velta International freight company, in Eastways, Witham, also got in the festive spirit and gathered round the Christmas tree for a picture.

The national Text Santa event raised a total of £8,383,361 after entrants sent a £5 or £10 text to take part.

The money raised will go towards funding nurses to support cancer patients, granting wishes to children fighting life-threatening conditions and helping families in the UK and abroad who are in poverty.

Witham Chamber of Commerce also raised money for Witham Luncheon Club with a Christmas Lunch and jumper competition.

Members gathered at Crofters in Maldon Road, Witham, on December 11, and Witham MP Priti Patel went to judge the festive outfits.

Tina Townsend, Chamber chairman, said: “We are still collecting money but we can confirm that the total raised this year is in excess of £3,000 which is fabulous. “Chamber members have done a brilliant job.

“Kathryn Berale of Cabello Hair and Beauty raised nearly £1,000 at her first anniversary party.

“Other donations were received from a number of businesses at Witham Industrial Watch, Rotary Club and Witham Carnival.”

Witham Town Luncheon Club needs a minimum of £10,000 every year to provide hot meals for elderly people on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday at Witham Town Hall.