A RYEDALE charity which provides support for hundreds of families with children with disabilities has been awarded £71,590 from BBC Children in Need.

Ryedale Special Families (RSF), which is based in Old Malton, will use the three-year grant to deliver a youth group for children and young people who are facing various disadvantages, such as having additional needs or disabilities, or who are living in foster care or are adopted.

Lisa Keenan, chief officer at RSF, said: “It’s really fantastic news that we have been awarded this funding from BBC Children in Need.

“The young people that we support are facing various challenges in their lives, but by attending the youth group we are able to help them overcome some of these challenges and make a positive difference to their lives.”

RSF began in the early 1990s when a group of 20 families of disabled children started to meet in their own homes in order to share challenges and experiences, as well as offer mutual support to each other.

In 1997 RSF became a registered charity and moved into its first office, which was based in Welburn Hall School, near Kirkbymoorside.

It later relocated to Old Malton, expanded the workforce to more than 30 full and part-time employees, and now provides support to more than 400 families throughout Ryedale.

The charity is currently fundraising to provide a new purpose-built building.

Elizabeth Myers, regional head of the north at BBC Children in Need, said: “It’s always a great privilege to award new funding to projects doing fantastic work in their communities, like Ryedale Special Families.

“We look forward to seeing the positive impact that this project will have on the children and young people that they support over the coming years.”