A GROUP of small businesses have come together to raise charity funds. 

This year the Essex Networking group is raising money for the Doucecroft School, supporting the work it does for young people with Autism. 

The group has raised enough money to buy the school a new Go-Kart and hope to provide new sensory equipment for their quiet room. 

The other chosen charity is Home Start Colchester. The funds will go into the Linda Steers Family Fund to provide small grants to supported families.

Essex Networking leader Nick Kokolski, of Maid2Clean Colchester, said: “By doing this together we make more of a positive impact on our local community than we ever could do on our own.”

The group meets on alternate Tuesdays at the Wivenhoe House Hotel where they discuss business and plan fundraising.

Nick Kokolski, Chris Winnet of Birch Financial Services and Susan Patrick of Dancing Giraffe CIC presented the cheque for £516 to the Doucecroft School representatives.

They included Jane Smart, headteacher, Cat Symington, business manager and Anna Rogers, head of fundraising for Autism Anglia. 
A second cheque for £516 was presented to Christabelle Woods, project co-ordinator at Home Start Colchester. 

Essex Networking is hosting a charity casino night at Wivenhoe House on February 9. Tickets are £30 and include a luxury buffet and entertainment. 

Visit essexnetworking.com to book a place before Christmas and get the ticket for £25.