CHRISTMAS has come early for Worcestershire’s community organisations after being awarded more than £1million in National Lottery funding.

The money, raised by players for good causes, is being distributed by the Big Lottery Fund.

In total, 33 community projects in Worcestershire have been funded, ranging from a choir to a befriending scheme for older people.

Community Boost will form a choir in Worcester with its grant of almost £10,000. This will bring people together of all ages from across the city to join in and meet new friends.

The funding will go towards hiring specialist transport for people who are disabled or have mobility issues, so the choir is accessible for everyone. An experienced choir leader will also be hired to help form the group.

Keith Slater, founder of Community Boost, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to form a community choir which is available for everyone to enjoy.

"Singing has such a positive impact on people – it makes people feel happy, boosting their confidence and improving their wellbeing.

"We can’t wait to provide the opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to have fun and build community spirit. Please get in touch if you would like to join the choir, which will begin in January at St Stephen’s Church.”

Elsewhere in the county, Headway Worcestershire has been given funding of£140,256 towards their project, Links.

This helps to improve people’s lives after they acquire a brain injury, as well as that of their families and carers.

This will be achieved through developing referral links with neurology specialists, community therapists and hospital wards, working in partnership to ensure a number of people have access to this group’s services.

Kathryn Davis, chief executive of Headway Worcestershire, said: “We have received the funding over a three year period. We are thrilled to bits to have received these funds. The money will make a huge difference and give us an amazing opportunity to support more people in the future.”