A multi-award-winning dance charity that helps disabled and non-disabled individuals has been awarded a chunk of National Lottery cash.

DanceSyndrome, based in Accrington, is among the thousands of projects throughout the UK that will benefit from the £3billion investment scheme.

Set up in 2009 by dancer and musician Jen Blackwell, who has Down’s Syndrome, DanceSyndrome focuses on including everyone, regardless of ability, so they can work together to create inspiring dance performances.

One young man who has benefitted from the charity is 20-year-old David Corr from Preston, who also has Down's Syndrome.

He said: "It just makes me happy – I love it. I feel like I’m escaping."

Mr Corr's mum, Jenni, said DanceSyndrome has had a profound effect on her son.

She said: "It’s everything to him. He’s always wanted to be a dancer, but regular dance classes never suited him.

"Four weeks after joining DanceSyndrome he did a performance at The Lowry and that was it – he was off."

The charity is among the 7,500 youth-related National Lottery funded projects in the North West alone which have shared an investment of over £323 million from the National Lottery over the past 25 years.

Members of the company have appeared on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and been featured in a documentary called Superabled.

And at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival they performed a work called Lit Adrift that was inspired by the death of Mr Corr's grandfather.

While the moments in the spotlight are exhilarating, they are only one way the group is changing lives by using movement to obliterate conventional notions of ability and disability.

Managing director of DanceSyndrome, Dawn Vickers said: "Dance is the vehicle we use to overcome social barriers.

"When people walk through the door they’re a dancer – other concerns are left behind.

"When people develop confidence they take better care of themselves and get more independent.

"We’ve seen people move into their own accommodation and start using public transport for the first time.

"None of this would be possible without funding from The National Lottery; it’s essential, absolutely essential.

"More than 85 per cent of our income comes from government funding."

Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on November 19 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for 565,000 good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community.