Thirsk'S Clock Caf is celebrating this week after being awarded a grant of £106,691 from the National Lottery.

The youth organisation, which provides support to 11-19-year-olds, is one of 15 groups to benefit from the fund which has awarded over £1.7m to projects in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Based in Market Place, Thirsk, the caf offers young people one-to-one support, group work projects and basic skills courses in order to raise confidence and self-esteem.

It has proved hugely successful and, in response to demand, the group will use the money to expand its current support services with extra opening times and youth workers.

The project has been developed through close consultation with local young people who identified a need for a meeting place where they could get information, guidance and advice in a non-threatening environment.

Abigail Homer McGhie, manager of the cafe said: "This is fantastic news. Our first year has been both extremely busy and exciting. The grant will allow us to develop and meet the needs of young people."

Anne Dawson, lottery regional manager, said: "The committee was particularly impressed by the way in which young people have been involved."

The Clock Caf has been funded for the first three years by £330,000 from Thirsk Market Town Initiative, along with other agencies.

The building, converted from business premises, was decorated by the young people themselves and contains a chill-out area, caf and IT suite.

It has proved so successful that bigger premises are now being sought.