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THE CHARITY Friends of Carronhill School is celebrating after winning thousands of pounds to continue helping pupils with additional needs.

Friends of Carronhill has been awarded £5,000 by Lloyds Banking Group Community Fund and will discus with the school, how best to put the money to good use.

The school is one of only four for children with additional support needs in Aberdeenshire and currently has about 35 pupils with a range of conditions including cerebral palsy, autism and downs syndrome.

The charity, consisting of parents, staff and friends, beat off stiff competition from other community groups to land the prize, after polling enough of the public vote organised by Lloyds through its Community Fund.

Joint chairperson Lesley Rennie became involved with the charity after her daughter Tessa, now eight years old, become enrolled at Carronhill School and said it was humbling the public had given them its backing.

“We were absolutely delighted when we heard the news and £5,000 really is a lot of money to us as a charity. We are in talks with the school about how they would like the money to be spent but we have a few ideas ourselves too.

“It is more than likely going to go towards communication devices because a lot of the children at the school can’t speak.

“But there are different programmes and applications you can use to help them with this so we will be looking at computers and things like that more than likely.

“The school is so important because otherwise our children would have to go to a mainstream school but at Carronhill they learn social and life skills which is far more important.”

More than 200,000 people across the UK took part in a public vote between May and September to select the charities they wanted to receive the cash. Lloyds Banking Group, the largest financial services investor in UK communities, has provided funding to 132 organisations around the UK through its Community Fund in 2012. To find out more about the Group’s community investment, visit www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/community