Tyneside children’s charity Smile For Life has big plans for expansion after being shortlisted to win a top prize of up to £100,000.

The money, from Persimmon Homes’ Building Futures, is part of a £1million giveaway, and has been split into cash awards of £100,000, £50,000 and £20,000, for the charities that receive the most online votes.

Smile For Life chief executive Paula Gascoigne says the top prize would help hundreds more youngsters with disabilities by expanding the placements offered in Café Beam, adding a new cycle workshop to the premises and extending on the charity’s youth club services.

She said: “Winning an amount like £100,000 for us would be a game changer – it would enable us to do so much and reach so many people who need our support. It would be life changing for hundreds of people.

“We could offer another 120 work placements in either Café Beam, or in the training kitchen for aspiring chefs or cycle workshop – which could also be built using this money. It would give young people more choice on the type of placement they can take up, increasing their skills and confidence for the world of work.

“We are a small charity with big dreams, and this money would help to make our dreams a reality for so many people.”

She added: “This is the most exciting opportunity that the charity has ever had in its 11-year history. It has come at a perfect time now we have the new premises on Gosforth High Street and have the best people supporting us. We know if we won this money – the sky’s the limit!

“We really need people to get behind us and get voting so that we are in the strongest possible position to win this award. It takes seconds to do and could make such a difference to the lives of so many people in our region. Please help us to help them.”

Persimmon Homes is an official partner of Team GB and the Persimmon Charitable Commission enlisted the help of medallists Kat Copeland and Callum Skinner to help determine the three regional finalists for each business division. Smile For Life was chosen as one of those finalists.

One initiative from each category will go on to win £100,000 each through a national award scheme to be decided by a public vote, now open until midnight on September 27th 2019.

As well as the £100,000 first prize, there will be a £50,000 second prize and a £20,000 third prize in each sector, while a further 87 shortlisted projects will each receive £5,000.

To support Smile For Life please visit: https://www.persimmonhomes.com/building-futures/finalists

For more information on Smile For Life Children’s Charity and the work they do search @SmileforlifeNE on social media.