A Bridport group supporting young people in need has been honoured in a Charity of the Year Programme organised by local solicitors.

Bridport Young Persons Action Trust (BYPAT) received the Christmas surprise when they learnt that they are one of nine charities across Dorset and Somerset being celebrated in the programme.

Organised by local solicitors Porter Dodson, the Charity of the Year Programme will provide BYPAT with a £500 donation to support their work.

Created in 1993, BYPAT offers support to young people towards achieving aspirations they may not otherwise be able to achieve.

A spokesperson for BYPAT said: “It was a lovely surprise to hear from Porter Dobson of their thoughtful and generous gesture, and extremely encouraging to have the work of such a small local charity recognised in this way.”

Richard Baker, Head of Porter Dodson’s Family Team, said: “Being able to reach out into the community at these challenging times means a lot to the firm and we are delighted to support those in need over the festive season.

“Many of the beneficiaries have been nominated by staff and are part of our Charity of the Year Programme. We are pleased to be able to support all their hard work.”

Rob Fox, Managing Partner, added: “Our staff are very involved in our Charity of the Year Programme, supporting it with dress down days, bake sales, bike rides and so forth. Their capacity to fundraise has been greatly limited over the last 18 months so the Partners are delighted to support their efforts with these additional donations.”

Now in their 28th year, BYPAT was created following an incident of drug-related violence that shook the community, when a young man was almost beaten to death in Plottingham Fields.

In subsequent years, and whilst always prioritising support for individual young people in need, BYPAT has worked in partnership with others to create a number of successful projects, including the Japanese Exchange Programme, Bandits Motor Project, ZEST! Music Project, Bridport’s first Youth Council, the creation of the Plottingham Skate Park and the West Bay Play Area, ASPIRE supporting young people with mental health issues and, most recently, Branden’s Trail at Bridport Primary School.

For further information about the BYPAT charity email a.c.woodgate@btinternet.com or call 01308 423767.