A POPULAR Wee County charity has been handed a massive £110,000 boost to continue providing leisure and social opportunities to people with disabilities and additional support needs.

Play Alloa was given the cash boost from the BBC Children in Need fund and will use the money for its Saturday play sessions for youngsters, which take place in Alloa and Menstrie.

The sessions support around 50 families by providing children with the opportunity for play, arts and crafts, and physical and outdoors activities.

They aim to develop children's social interaction skills, help them to build friendships and challenge them to help build confidence and self-esteem.

The sessions are delivered through grant funding, and the money coming from BBC Children in Need will allow them to continue for the next three years.

Play Alloa's senior project manager Maria Malcolm described the dramatic moment she heard that the good work of the organisation would remain.

She said: "We've been receiving funding from BBC Children in Need now for several years, and it's always a delight to hear that this funding will continue.

"We were told initially we would find out at the end of January or beginning of February.

"Then they told us it would be March, and one day the email popped up on my screen.

"One of my staff members was standing beside me and talking to me, and I saw it pop up and had to say to her: 'Can you just give me a minute?'

"I really wanted to prepare myself for telling them bad news, and I opened up the email but it just said I had to click on an attachment – so my heart was pounding.

"I opened it up and my hands and head literally went on to the desk and there were tears.

"It's making me shake just to think about it, but it was quite a moment."

Florence Burke, national head of Scotland at BBC Children in Need, said: "We are delighted to fund the work of Play Alloa and look forward to seeing the difference that this grant will make to children and young people."