A GROUP in Chester-le-Street that helps disabled children is celebrating a £68,993 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Integrating Children is one of 15 projects in the region to receive grants totalling more than £1.4 million.

The group helps disabled children enjoy sports and leisure activities that able-bodied young people take for granted.

It also provides life skills training and offers respite to the parents and carers of disabled children.

The grant will enable it to benefit even more young people in the area.

Spokeswoman for Integrating Children, Patricia Wilcock said: "The grant will be used to fund a new post of co-ordinator for Durham and Chester-le-Street, who will work in partnership with other agencies to develop a co-ordinated service for children and young people with a disability wishing to access mainstream leisure.

"The young people will, through a life skills programme, be able to improve their opportunities in the transition from school to work."

Tim Davies-Pugh, the Big Lottery Fund's head of North-East Region, said: "The recently-awarded grants will continue to make a big difference to the lives of local people."