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Challenge Wales Sails to victory in head-to-head public TV vote

The Wales-based Sail Training charity and ASTO member, Challenge Wales, was announced the winner of the ITV People's Millions Award yesterday by ITV Weather and News Presenter James Wright who surprised the charity with a £50,000 cheque.

Challenge Wales made a bid for viewers support to win the £50,000, with the public voting by phone on Monday 25 November to decide who wins the prize. With the winner being announced the following day on the 6.00pm ITV Wales evening News. With the funding, Challenge Wales will be embarking on its Turning the Tide sailing project in 2014 and providing sensory experiences and day & residential sailing opportunities for visually impaired and blind young people from Wales.

Vicky Williams, Trustee and Volunteer said: "For a small volunteer run charity we are really excited that we have won the £50,000. Lots of Challenge Wales volunteers and supporters helped us to get the message out there about our funding bid and we are so pleased that people picked up the phone on the night and voted for our Turning the Tide project. This funding will make a significant difference to visually impaired and blind young people throughout Wales who will now be able to experience sailing, helping them to develop confidence and independence while having fun."

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund said: "This is a brilliant result for the people of Wales and shows that groups can achieve when they have the support of their community behind them."

Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of ITV plc said: "This is a great opportunity for ITV viewers to have their say in how thousands of pounds of Lottery money, set aside for good causes, can benefit their area."