CLAIRE House's latest appeal has reached a fantastic £1.5m mark thanks to a major National Lottery donation - but there is still a way to go before the target is reached.

The Globe-backed 'Sparkling Star' appeal, which needs to raise £2m for a teenage annex with en-suite bedrooms, family rooms lounges and a kitchen area can be built onto the hospice, has received a Big Lottery Fund grant of £300,000.

Stephen Trowler, Claire House project manager said: "This is great news for the young people who use Claire House.

"The grant will help us to improve our accommodation and develop a service that meets the needs of the teenagers and their families supported under our care."

The Big Lottery Fund, the joint name of the New Opportunities Fund and the National Lottery Charities Board, which made grants under the name of the Community Fund. The new fund was launched on June 1 and distributes half of all National Lottery good-cause funding across the UK.

To date, the fund has given more than £5billion to initiatives with national, regional and local partners from the public, voluntary, charity and private sectors, with a particular focus on disadvantage.

The 'Sparkling Star' appeal was launched by former 'Brookside' star, and appeal president, Claire Sweeney in July last year.

Wirral Jazz Friends present their 18th charity evening for Claire House with a Jazz Party entitled 'New Orleans to Soweto.' The concert takes place next Friday, October 22, at Heswall Royal British Legion in Pensby Road. Tickets at £7.50 are now on sale for what promises to be a fantastic evening's entertainment from 336 1190.

On the bill is the top class Kid Boyd Jazz Band from Yorkshire, playing a variety of styles, including New Orleans and South African. The Parade Jazz Band and there will be a parasol parade and dancing.