COMPANIES from across the country came together to celebrate raising more than £14,500 for MS-UK.

Taking on the Colchester-based charity’s 925 Challenge, staff from 13 companies took part in leg waxing, pumpkin carving, curry and karaoke, bake sales and ice bucket challenges in a bid to be the first to raise £925 in nine weeks, two days and five hours.

The winners of the challenge were Direct Solutions, a Clacton-based print and design company.

They were also the quickest to hit the £925 target in just 28 days and raised the most money over all, with a total of £2,118.

Other teams that took part included Women In Business Networking and Wivenhoe House Hotel.

An awards ceremony was held at the Marks Tey Hotel.

Louise Parkes, digital marketing executive at Direct Solutions, said: “We were absolutely delighted to take home the trophy.

“The challenge is such a creative and clever way of fundraising against the clock – add in the competitive elements between local and national businesses and you have a recipe for success.

“We exceeded our target goal of £925 and raised more than £2,000 for a fantastic charity.

“It has been brilliant and we highly recommend every business who wants to take on the challenge to get involved next year.”

Alison Deal, from Women in Business Networking, won the Outstanding Individual award.

She said: “This is a cause close to my heart. Last year my eldest daughter was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis at the age of 25.

“She lives in Leeds so she isn’t close by.

“As fate would have it the very next day I went to my Women in Business Network meeting and sat next to a visitor who turned out to be from MS-UK.

“She was so kind at what was a stressful time. I know from my daughter the importance of having someone to talk to who understands the condition and the challenges it raises.”

Jill Purcell, fundraising manager at MS-UK, thanked and congratulated all the participants.