Huntingdon-based charity Small Steps has been selected by The Hunts Post readers to win our Community Chest scheme.

The charity, which supports families and children with Downs Syndrome, was a clear winner of the Taylor Wimpey and Hunts Post scheme, collecting almost 30 per cent of the vote.

Alison Watson, who founded Small Steps four years ago, said she was "absolutely blown away" when she was told the group had won £500.

"This is fantastic," Mrs Watson said. "When I looked at the list of 10 groups I thought it was just nice to be nominated. I certainly didn't expect to win and I am chuffed to bits.

"We're currently raising funds to bring a speech therapist in to help the children. It's important when children are about 18-months-old - it's when we can really target their language and help them for the future.

"This money will form a huge chunk to keep that going, which is fantastic."

Mrs Watson launched the group after her fourth child Freya was born with Downs Syndrome.

Now six, Freya attends Hartford Infants School.

"Downs Syndrome used to get a bad press but what I want to do is change people's perception," Mrs Watson said. "People have quite old fashioned views and if you say people with Downs Syndrome won't be able to do something, then it is hard for them but if you give them all the opportunities from early on then they can achieve a lot."

Caroline Carter, of Taylor Wimpey, said: "We were delighted to announce Small Steps as winners of the Community Chest.

"A number of good causes were nominated, so many congratulations to our winners. We are pleased to recognise the good work they do and hope the cash will help to support those efforts."