A Totton special needs playgroup has £1,000 in the kitty to help with their running costs - thanks to fundraising freemasons.

Totton Opportunity Group applied to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Masonic Charity for help after reading a Daily Echo story about their generosity to another local group.

The freemasons came up with solid support for Totton Opportunity Group too - by helping to pay their rent for a year.

The opportunity group, which meets twice a week at Calmore First School, provides a meeting place for parents and children from an area stretching from Lyndhurst to Redbridge and Millbrook.

About 16 children attend each session.

Group co-ordinator Julie Ledbetter said the Masonic cash was very well-timed.

"Like many small charities we run on a very tight budget, and fundraising is one of our main sources of income," she said.

"This help with our rent frees up our savings to buy some specialised equipment.

"Another priority is refurbishing the parents' room where mums and dads get a cup of coffee and a well-earned break.

"Helping parents is an important part of our role."

Julie also said the group is in urgent need of more volunteers to allow them to provide one helper for each child with special needs.

Anyone who might be able to give some of their time is asked to write to Julie via Calmore First School, Calmore Drive, Totton, Southampton.