AN appeal to bring smiles to the faces of disabled children has received a major boost.
The 100,000 Smiles appeal aims to raise £100,000 to pay for a new purpose-built playground at Lexden Springs special school in Colchester.
And it has now received a grant of £20,000 from the Colchester Catalyst Charity.
The windfall boosts the total to £78,000 - just £22,000 away from its target.
Charlotte Foxley, chairman of the school's Parent Teacher Association, said: "We are absolutely over the moon.
"This means we are even closer to our target. We have lots of events coming up and we are hoping will be be able to raise the money we need.
"The support we have had from the community has been overwhelming.
"Donations have been made in response to articles and events have been held - we are so glad to have the support of the community."
Lexden Springs School cares for children with a wide range of disabilities.
The new playground will include swings and a roundabout which can be used by children in wheelchairs.
For the more able children, there will be a rope climbing frame.
A bubble tunnel and wobble board will assist the children with their agility and balance as will a wavy bridge.
* The appeal, which is supported by the Gazette, still needs donations. To contribute, send a cheque to the Lexden Springs Appeal Fund at Lexden Springs School, Halstead Road, Colchester, CO3 9AB, or go to www.justgiving.com/lexdensprings.