The Apprentice star Kate Walsh hands out National Lottery award to Essex charity

PUBLISHED: 12:11 10 September 2009 | UPDATED: 21:54 31 May 2010

Picture: SUBMITTED

Picture: SUBMITTED

A CHARITY which improves the lives of disabled children has been recognised as one of the UK s best voluntary projects. Wendens Ambo-based charity Fledglings helps more than 4000 children with special needs or disabilities every year. The charity was comm

A CHARITY which improves the lives of disabled children has been recognised as one of the UK's best voluntary projects.

Wendens Ambo-based charity Fledglings helps more than 4000 children with special needs or disabilities every year.

The charity was commended for its work at The National Lottery Awards 2009 in London.

Staff and beneficiaries rubbed shoulders with celebrity guests at the star-studded awards show, broadcast live on BBC 1 on Saturday.

Famous names attending included hosts Myleene Klass and Nick Knowles, actress Fay Ripley, model and presenter Lisa Snowdon, fellow Strictly Come Dancing contestant and broadcaster John Sergeant, 'King of the Jungle' Christopher Biggins, singer David Gray, the Noisettes, The Apprentice star Kate Walsh and 15-year old diving sensation Tom Daley.

Fledglings received an incredible show of public support throughout all stages of the competition to become a runner-up in the Best Voluntary/Charity Project category.

Fledglings Trustee John Statham said: "We are absolutely delighted to have reached the finals. Getting that far really made us a winner. There were hundreds of other projects from all over the UK so for a small charity such as ours to get as far as we did was terrific.

"It has been a tremendous experience and we've been overwhelmed by the support we received.

"Our activity level since April has shot up and the limelight we've been afforded by the Lottery Awards has contributed towards that.

"The Awards have been a fantastic opportunity for us to thank everyone who is involved in Fledglings who have enabled us to make the most of our Lottery funding and help make Fledglings a success. However, we also hope that the Awards have helped us to reach even more disabled children and their families."

The National Lottery marks its 15th Anniversary this year and the annual star-studded event is a celebration of the UK's best Lottery-funded projects, making a positive difference in their communities.

Pictured is The Apprentice star Kate Walsh with Katie Woodcock and John Statham of Fledglings, and parents and beneficiaries Melanie and Richard Evetts Picture: SUBMITTED

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