AN ENVIRONMENTAL charity near Chard is calling on the public to get voting as it could receive up to £50,000 worth of funding.

Magdalen Farm, the environmental charity in Winsham, which provides family breaks for children with autism, is one of five groups competing in ITV’s West Country East region in the People's Projects.

It could receive up to £50,000 of National Lottery funding in the competition.

The Big Lottery Fund, ITV and The National Lottery have teamed up to give the UK public the chance to decide how £3 million of National Lottery funding will make a difference in their area.

The three projects with the most public votes will receive grants of up to £50,000 to help them develop their work even further to improve the lives of people in their communities.

Magdalen Farm is calling on the viewers’ support, with the public voting online to decide who wins the prize.

On Tuesday, March 21, the charity will showcase their project, ‘Family breaks for children with Autism’ on ITV West Country regional news at 6pm.

The charity hopes to use the funds to make a real difference for at least 50 South West families with autistic children.

It will be able to offer badly needed respite holidays for families to spend time together in peaceful surroundings, supported by Magdalen’s qualified staff.

Rebecca King, Care Farming manager, said: “We’ve created special breaks for families to relax and enjoy the company of other families who understand the challenges that are faced by having an autistic child.

"Living with a family member with autism can be extremely isolating - so a respite break can be such a lifeline for a family, where they can relax without fear of the prejudice that they so often receive.

"That’s why we are really hoping the public get behind us and vote for Magdalen Farm.”

Dawn Austwick, Big Lottery Fund Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to support 12,000 projects every year that use the knowledge and ideas of local people to strengthen communities.

"The People’s Projects is a chance for you to decide how National Lottery funding can benefit your local community, so make sure you have your say on who you think should win.”

The People’s Projects is an opportunity to celebrate some of the incredible projects the Big Lottery Fund has supported over the past year. With 95 shortlisted across the UK, the public can now decide which groups should win up to £50,000 develop their project further.

Voting opens at 9m on Monday, March 20 and closes at noon on Monday, April 3.

People can vote once per region and will need an email address to vote online.

To support Magdalen Farm, visit

People without email addresses can vote by post by sending a postcard to ‘Freepost THE PEOPLE’S PROJECTS’.

To be counted, the following details must be written on the postcard: name, address, telephone number and the name of the project voted for. Please send your postal vote by last post Wednesday March 29.

Postal votes must be received by noon on April 3.