THOUSANDS of pounds have been handed out to good causes in York - and the lucky recipients are seen here celebrating their windfall.

The Evening Press's American owners have given away £260,000 to organisations around the country.

Three York-based groups have already received their cheques from the Gannett Foundation - a charity arm of American media giant Gannett, the parent company of the Evening Press - with one more group set to receive a generous gift in the near future.

York and District News for the Blind, which supplies talking newspapers for the blind and partially-sighted, received £3,500 to buy new copying equipment.

Treasurer Ken Jackson said he was thrilled with the award, which would secure the future of the free-of-charge service in the city.

York Tuesday Viking PHAB Club, which organises activities for disabled and able-bodied youngsters, received £1,000 towards a residential activity holiday.

Dot Smith, of PHAB, said the cash would be used to take young people on trips away. She said: "It is excellent news, we are really pleased. We will speak to the young people to see what they want to do."

The Wilberforce Trust, which provides supported residential and community-based care for adults with disabilities, received £2,500 for specially-designed furniture.

Elaine Askham, house manager at West View, a "supported living" house linked to the Wilberforce Trust, said: "It is just fantastic to get the award. It is really, really brilliant."

As part of the latest round of awards the York-based Friendly Film Society for the Disabled will be presented with a new projector, worth up to £5,000.

Evening Press assistant editor Chris Buxton said: "We are delighted that the Gannett Foundation has chosen to support these deserving causes in our area."

Over the past 18 months the Gannett Foundation has awarded £45,000 to groups across York and the surrounding area, with groups such as SNAPPY, York Nightstop, Selby District Vision, Malton, Norton and District In Touch Group and York Rape Crisis benefiting from the scheme.

The Gannett Foundation supports projects which take a creative approach to fundamental issues, particularly affecting young people and disabled people.

Updated: 11:11 Monday, May 19, 2003