A RISHTON charity has launched its appeal to raise £1million at a champagne reception hosted by the Prime Minister's wife Cherie Blair at 10 Downing Street.

Lords House Farm, a specialist centre working with disabled and disadvantaged adults and children, was urged by Mrs Blair to "keep up the good work".

She agreed to host the event after meeting local entrepreneur Kevin Horkin, who is a trustee of the charity.

Mr Horkin, founder of Spex Opticians, said: "I originally asked her to become a patron. She said she was unable to do so, but said she would hold a reception for us and has been true to her word.

"We are starting a campaign to raise £1million over two years and the reception was a great way to launch that.

"It was also a good way to raise the profile of Lords House Farm there is no other charity based in the North of England that has been given the chance to showcase what they do at the seat of power."

More than 40 guests, including the charity's patron William Roache MBE, who plays Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, attended the event.

Mary Walker, chief executive and founder of Lords House Farm, said: "We are very grateful to everyone who organised this wonderful event for us. It is extremely gratifying to realise that all the hard work and effort put into providing this invaluable facility is truly recognised and this event has been a great honour for us all."

She added: "Hopefully, there will be some opportunity to promote the work even further as the main aim of the charity is to raise the quality of life for disabled and disadvantaged people in the North West and to do this we need a constant source of income.

"This was a great launch to our fund-raising appeal."

A number of fund-raising events are being organised, including a charity ball towards the end of the year, but the charity is also appealing to local people to get involved and help it hit its £1million target.