CHRISTMAS has come early for a County Durham charity, which has received a £10,000 grant.

The Durham Area Disabled Leisure Group will be given the grant tomorrow, from the Lloyds TSB Foundation - one for the country's largest grant-making trusts.

The Chester-le-Street charity is one of 58 in the North-East to receive a share of £323,302 in the latest round of grants from the foundation.

The group provides leisure opportunities for young people with disabilities living in County Durham.

Young people can get involved in a range of activities including archery, go-karting, golf and rowing. The charity has 120 members.

The donation from the foundation will be put towards the salary costs of a project support worker.

Laraine Edwards, the charity's group co-ordinator, said: "The news of this grant could not have come at a better time - it means that we can really start the New Year on a high note. Thanks to the Lloyds TSB Foundation we will be able to bring some festive cheer to more people in our local community and ensure that they have an extra reason to celebrate this Christmas.

Senior branch manager of Lloyds TSB in Chester-le-Street, David Johnson said: "The work of this voluntary organisation is especially important during the festive season to ensure that everybody enjoys a happy and comfortable Christmas."