Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centres, in Norreys Avenue, Wokingham, was one of six projects in the South East to be awarded the sum.

Funds came out of a pot of £892,773 from the National Lottery Good Causes fund.

Centre workers received the good news on Tuesday last week and manager Arti Divatia said: “I’m just speechless, this is the most we’ve ever received, it’s so nice to feel appreciated and for them to recognise that smaller charities do great work as well.” The money will be spread over five years, and will go towards The Dingley Family Matters project, which helps children from birth to five years old with additional needs or disabilities.

They will also aim to provide respite breaks for parents to allow them to spend more time with siblings, as well as workshops on a range of topics.

Ms Divatia added: “We will be talking to parents and asking them for their input. We’re looking at different speakers to come in, different training courses. It’s really exciting!” The news comes during Ms Divatia’s 10th anniversary of working at Dingley, and she added: “It’s a great way to end 2013! It will give me lots to think about over the holidays.” Messages of support had been flooding in from parents, and Ms Divatia confirmed they would be celebrating the good news in the near future.