Countdown host Nick Hewer has accepted a £200,000 cheque from People's Postcode Lottery players on behalf of the Salisbury-based charity Hope and Homes for Children.

The cheque was presented to Nick, who is patron of the charity, on the set of the Channel 4 game show this week.

Hope and Homes for Children will use the funds to find families for thousands of disabled children locked away in East African orphanages.

Nick, who recently visited the charity's projects in Rwanda, said, "They say life is a lottery, and for children locked away in bleak African orphanages it must feel like there’s no hope.

"By finding them safe and loving families to grow up in, we can give them the golden ticket to a happy childhood.

"So thank you so much to players of People's Postcode Lottery for helping an amazing Salisbury-based charity to continue to transform the lives of vulnerable children in the world’s poorest communities."

An estimated eight million children are locked away in shocking overseas orphanages, but 80% of these children are not orphans. Most have been estranged from their families because of poverty, discrimination or disabilities.

Tragically, 60 years of scientific research shows how children in orphanages are exposed to greater levels of neglect, abuse and even trafficking.

The funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery will enable Hope and Homes for Children to oversee the first orphanage closure for children with disabilities in Rwanda. Dedicated social workers will work with children confined to orphanages, tracing their families and giving them the support they need to become a family again. Where this is not possible, specialist foster families will be trained to give the children the love and security they need to thrive.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery said, "This funding award of £200,000 will make such an impact to the lives of children hidden away in East African orphanages. I am proud that the support from players of People's Postcode Lottery will allow these children to be supported back into family environments."

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Coundown host and patron of the charity Nick Hewer accepting the £200,000 cheque