“LOST Voice Guy” is raising money for disabled young people in the North-East after asking for charity donations instead of birthday presents.

Lee Ridley, from Consett in County Durham, turned 38 on Sunday and instead of gifts, asked for donations for Smile for Life Children’s Charity.

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The Britain’s Got Talent winner, who shot to fame last year after winning with ITV talent show in June, has Cerebral Palsy and communicates through an electronic device.

Mr Ridley, who became patron of the Gosforth-based charity in May 2017, posted the request to his 151,000 social media followers and has raised almost £300.

Lee Ridley, from Consett, better known as Lost Voice Guy

He said: “The charity provides a great opportunity for disabled young people and I am honoured to be a part of it.”

He added: “Smile For Life is committed to supporting disabled and disadvantaged children in the North East of England and Scottish borders.

“They have no boundaries to the help they give and are guided by the children – their specific circumstances and diagnosis, to provide the support which will make their lives easier and happier.”

He will be headlining his own Smile on the Tyne comedy extravaganza at The Exchange, North Shields, on Sunday, July 7, in aid of the charity, when he will be joined by North-East comedians The Mimic Men, Steffen Peddie, Gavin Webster and Louise Young.

Paula Gascoigne, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We would like to wish our wonderful patron Lee the very happiest of birthdays and are so grateful he is asking for donations to us instead of gifts.

“It is amazing for our charity for Lee to give us this kind of exposure now he is a national star, so we can get the name of Smile For Life out to so many more people and raise much-needed funds to help people who really need it.

“Lee is a figure our young people aspire to be like, with him having overcome disability to become a local, and now international, star.”

She added: “We can’t wait for him to headline our Smile on the Tyne comedy event at The Exchange this year. It should be a wonderful event and we are looking forward to seeing as many people there as possible.”

To donate tothe fundraiser, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lvgbirthday18.

To buy tickets for Smile on the Tyne, visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/theexchange.