VULNERABLE people in Winchester are set to benefit from a handout of tens of thousands of pounds to local voluntary groups by Hamp-shire County Council.

More than £72,000 is being awarded to several Winchester organisations who help those in need, and comes as part of the council's annual grant settlements, which this year total £565,000.

Age Concern Winchester will receive £11,000 as a contribution towards the salary costs for its lunch club co-ordinator and chief officer.

The organisation works with about 250 elderly people in the city.

Winchester Live at Home Scheme will benefit from a grant of £12,000, which will provide social activities and befriending schemes for elderly people living at home or who do not want to socialise in large groups.

Another recipient is Winchester's Trinity Centre, which will get £15,671 as a contribution towards salary costs.

Trinity offers advice, information, counselling, healthcare services and recreational activities to people in the city disadvantaged by homelessness, unemployment, illness, drug addiction or other social deprivations.

A spokesman for The Trinity Centre said: "We are absolutely delighted that the council supports the work we do."

Another grant recipient will be Relate Hampshire's teenage service, Relateen, which will get £9,076 towards its work with youngsters in Winchester, Basingstoke and Aldershot whose parents are separated.

Other Hampshire groups benefiting include:

Club Hampshire, which will get £106,000 to help fund its work with older and disabled people.

Age Concern Hampshire, which will get £92,880 to help pay for its countywide information service.

Hampshire Centre for Independent Living, whic will get £7,500 to fund its work with disabled people.

Hampshire Voluntary Care Groups Advisory Service which will get £48,500 for work helping other local voluntary groups.