A Worcestershire charity is celebrating a fantastic start to 2022 after your votes helped it secure more than £3,000 in our Gannett Awards.

Malvern Special Families, which helps families and children with complex needs throughout the county, is among a number of charities being recognised by our parent company Gannett’s charitable arm, the Gannett Foundation.

A total of £20,000 is being given to good causes across the West Midlands, with the readers of Newsquest newspapers deciding how much each charity gets.

Tokens printed in titles including the Worcester News and Malvern Gazette were deposited in collection boxes by readers, with charities receiving the corresponding percentage of the prize pot.

Malvern Special Families won 16.93% of the West Midlands vote, which equates to £3,385.58.

“This is a fantastic sum of money for us and I would like to thank every reader of the Malvern Gazette and Worcester News who took the time and trouble to collect the tokens for us and drop them off at the collection boxes,” said Gareth Jones, the charity’s chief executive.

“Thank you too, to all the retail outlets who hosted the boxes for us so willingly. It is wonderful to see we have such incredible support from the community in what has been a challenging two  years for all charities.

“On behalf of all the children and young people of Malvern Special Families, thank you so much and we wish you all a happy new year.”

Malvern Special Families was started in 1987 by a group of parents to help their children enjoy their lives in spite of difficult circumstances. The charity now runs services and activities for children and young people in Malvern and throughout Worcestershire.

Providing support to more than 100 families, it has links with Fort Royal Community Primary School and Regency High School in Worcester, helping to prepare children for their later lives.

The money comes as a timely boost for Malvern Special Families as the charity was forced to cancel all of its fundraising events and activities because of lockdown.