Christmas came early this year for three charities which have all won grants from News Shopper.

In association with our parent company, the Gannett Foundation, tens of thousands of pounds are distributed each year to charities across England, Wales and Scotland.

This year, three local charities are celebrating after being awarded a whopping £21,103 pounds in total.

Demelza Hospice in Eltham cares for children from across south London who are life-threatened or have life limiting conditions.

The hospice, in Wensley Close, will receive a £9,353 grant for a 'magic carpet'.

Laura Smyth, senior trust fundraiser, said: "It's absolutely amazing; it's going to make so much difference to our families.

"We've been saving for this for over a year.

"All the money will go towards buying it, shipping and installation."

The 'magic carpet' is an interactive projection system, which allows a child to play and interact with any form of scenery or shapes displayed on the floor.

Ms Smyth added: "For example if they move it will move with them.

"Our children have varying levels of movement and some don't have the use of all their senses.

"This has a specific disabled programme so everyone can use it.

"They're going to be so excited, we're so grateful."

News Shopper:

The team from Demelza Hospice

Fellow charity London Playing Fields Foundation will receive a £2,000 grant for a mini-soccer goals facility at the London Marathon Sports Ground in Shooters Hill Road, Greenwich.

Around 12,000 youngsters from the 800 or so teams registered to play there, ranging from Under 7s to Under 21s, will benefit from the grant.

Development manager Jeff Neslin said: "The FA recently changed the rules saying we need to have smaller goals for the younger players - but said we had to fund it.

"We play on smaller pitches and need smaller goals, about 4ft, for younger players which improves safety. The money will go towards getting these, which cost around £1,500 each."

Sally Dolan, secretary for the South East London and Kent Youth Football League, said: "We would like to say a big thanks, if the players had the chance they would be queuing up to thank you."

News Shopper:

Youngsters on the pitch in Greenwich 

Alex Robins, trust and statutory fundraising officer for Centrepoint, said he was "over the moon" to learn £9,750 had been awarded to the Move Through project in Lewisham.

The money will go towards refurbishing empty properties with white goods and furniture such as beds.

Eighteen properties across Lewisham, seven one-bed and 11 two-beds, will be kitted out ready for young people aged around 20-25.

Mr Robins explained: "A lot of our young people have suffered abuse or been thrown out their homes, they live in places like hostels and these properties are a next step for them. Often they're in employment, education and training and being able to move into these properties will allow them to move on with their lives.

"Initially this grant will help 29 people, but could help more than 100 over the years as they won't live in them forever.

"It's absolutely fantastic news. This is funding is so important, I think the young people would thank you for giving them this opportunity."