CHRISTMAS came early for staff of a Winchester firm as they raised funds to help terminally ill children.

Donning their festive jumpers, antlers and hats, Denplan staff raised £210 last Friday (July 25) for North Waltham-based charity Sebastian’s Action Trust, which supports the families of life-limited and seriously ill children.

The money topped up the £3,000 already donated by the company as part of their community fund.

It helped organise the Christmas in July event on Saturday, July 26, which gives children who might not see the festive season a chance to enjoy it with presents, a visit from santa and fairground rides.

Head of human resources and community fund chairman, Sharon Ellis, said: “When the community fund committee were approached by Sebastian’s Action Trust for help with their Christmas in July campaign, we loved the idea immediately were keen to support such a worthwhile charity and event. We also thought it would be fun to get our employees involved too, and our own Christmas Day in the office to raise further funds was a great success. It’s such a creative fundraising idea, not to mention a great excuse to enjoy a mince pie in the middle of summer.”

Charlotte Bowles, PR and communications officer for the trust, said: “We are delighted to have Denplan’s Community Fund support in backing our Christmas in July campaign. Having their very generous donation of £3,000 has helped us tremendously in giving the children we support with life-limiting illnesses a Christmas to remember. The donation is hugely appreciated.

“This campaign really hits home as it is a reminder that sadly for some Christmas will not be a happy occasion, by having Denplan’s support allows us to raise awareness to more people of the work we do.”