THE deadline is fast approaching to vote for a very special Worcestershire charity in our Gannett Awards.

Gannett, our parent company, is looking to give away a share of £20,000 to good causes in the region.

Our chosen charity is Malvern Special Families, which helps families and children with complex needs across the county.

First formed in 1987, the charity provides care and support for families and helps them live the fullest life possible.

Malvern Special Families is based mainly in Malvern, but runs activities and services across all areas of Worcestershire.

It is linked with Worcester's Fort Royal Community Primary School and Regency High School, and helps prepare children for their later lives.

Special Families was set up in 1987 by a group of parents to help their children enjoy their lives in spite of difficult circumstances.

Chief executive Gareth Jones said: "Our aim is that if any child has not been told they cannot do something, we help them to do it.

"It doesn't matter what it is - we try and find a way to do it. Whether it is canoeing or playing sport or whatever.

"It is obviously a challenge as there is a broad range of ages and disabilities, so we have to always think about what we are offering."

This week sees the last call for votes on November 28, with the winners to be announced soon.

Each token collected will then be used to allocate cash to the nominated charity – so if your favourite charity collects 50% of all to tokens collected, it will receive 50% of the £20,000.

The Covid pandemic has hit Special Families, with the lockdown meaning they could not run their usual events.

Mr Jones added: "I remember in March 2020, we got the call that we were going into lockdown just before the official announcement.

"We were told to close and had to cancel all our activities and events like the sponsored walks, which are so important for our fundraising.

"Eventually we got back up and running in the summer, but having cancelled all the things that bring in money, we were hit hard."