BIG-HEARTED business bosses have donated their firm’s Christmas party food to charity after the event became a last-minute victim of the pandemic.

Rayne-based homewares company Amara had booked Hedingham Castle for its festive bash.

More than 100 members of staff were looking forward to the seasonal celebrations.

But bosses reluctantly pulled the plug on the party at the 11th hour after the new Omicron strain of the coronavirus started ripping through the country.

They decided to reschedule the party amid concerns for the safety of staff.

But all the festive food had already been ordered and was at the caterers – Splinters Outside Catering, in Bulmer.

Splinters boss Sally Kerr suggested giving the Yuletide nosh – including fresh turkey breasts, steak, salmon and cheeses – to charity instead of throwing it in the bin.

The food has now been distributed to the Colchester Women’s Refuge and Monkwick Munch Club by the Colchester Anti Loo Roll Brigade community group.

Amara boss Andrew Hood said: “We were obviously disappointed to cancel the Christmas party this year but we decided it was the right thing to do given all the information at our disposal.

“We were determined not to waste all the food that had already been supplied, so decided to donate it to charity, which is being distributed to food banks and refuge centres so at least some good can come from a difficult situation.”

The online interiors company is now planning to hold its party in the new year.