Staff and users of a support group for Hartlepool people with special needs are celebrating after they were told they have been chosen to receive a huge cash grant.
Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group, which is based in Park Road in the town, is to be given £25,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
The organisation helps young people with profound physical or learning disabilities with their educational and leisure needs.
Bosses at the group called on the public to vote for them after they were nominated as one place which could be awarded the money.
Manager Pat Allison spoke of her joy at the news.
“We are absolutely delighted,” she said.
“Our core fundraisers helped us to push for votes and they, as well as our members, are ecstatic that we’re going to get so much money.
“We can’t say how delighted we are by this.
“Money is so tight at the minute for charities so everything counts.”
About 100 families use the services of the group, which offers youth and children’s groups, drop-in days, and the use of a sensory room.
Staff also put on pamper days to give mums and carers a well-earned break.
Pat added that in the next few weeks plans will formulated as to exactly how the money will be spent on the facility.
“We should know by next week exactly what we will be doing,” she said.
“It’s now 28 years since we started and we’re well-known in the town for the social opportunities we provide for children and young people.
“There’s a presentation event in November which we’re looking forward to because we really are very thankful to the Masonic charity and everyone who voted for us.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and couldn’t have done this without them.”
Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country.
Most of the support provided by the foundation takes the form of financial grants to individuals and families to assist with daily living costs.