A disabled children's charity has secured its future for another three years after the Government awarded it £1.5m.
Contact a Family, which employs 75 staff, received the good news from Chancellor Gordon Brown during a reception last week at 11 Downing Street.
The organisation, which supports parents of disabled children, relies on the Government for 42 per cent of its income.
With a £1.5m Department of Health grant due to expire shortly, the identical sum pledged by the Chancellor will enable it to continue to operate its freephone helpline and information services until 2008.
"It's very significant funding for us," said chief executive Francine Bates. "It also shows that the Government recognises the voluntary sector has an important role to play in terms of fulfilling its own objectives." She added that the charity will aim to be less reliant on statutory funding by 2008.