12:30pm Friday 14th December 2012
By Katie Bamber
A WALKING turkey and a pudding on legs were among at team of workmates who set out on a mission to bring Christmas cheer to the homeless.
Seven colleagues from Buckhurst Hill-based recruitment company Drillmore Solutions donned festive fancy dress and set off from the town's underground station yesterday lunchtime in a bid to raise awareness of the Salvation Army's work.
The colourful troupe - which included a gingerbread man and Santa Claus, both in skintight Lycra, a reindeer and an elf - met residents of two of the charity's homeless hostels in Whitechapel.
They also presented a £475 cheque to each shelter, one from Drillmore Solutions and one donated by local IT company RCS Ltd.
Snowman Paul Maskell, who set up the recuritment business in Queens Road last year with partner and former West Ham player John Moncur, had been planning the unusual jaunt for months.
"I was getting sick and tired of how commercial Christmas had become - I wanted to do something decent," said the 41-year-old, of Willow Close.
"It was a fabulous day and really moving. Our younger guys, they're typical Essex boys and they were really moved.
"It educated me about homelessness. The women we met were lovely, intelligent women.
"We also raised awareness because people kept asking us 'where are you going? Why are you dressed like that?'"
Mr Maskell, who has lived in Buckhurst Hill for 25 years, now hopes to make the fundraising outing an annual tradition - and is keen for other local businesses to join in.
Anyone wishing to get involved next year can contact him on 0208 506 0971.
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