THE charity behind a children's orchestra which offers music tuition to youngsters from deprived areas has been given £100,000 to expand its work.

The news comes as more than 50 children from the Big Noise orchestra in Raploch, Stirling, return from a tour to Venezuela, the country where the El Sistema system of intensive orchestral tuition originated.

There are Big Noise orchestras in Raploch and Govanhill, Glasgow, with another being established in Aberdeen.

Richard Holloway, chair-man of Sistema Scotland, said the money from the People's Postcode Lottery was "marvellous news". "This funding will help us to keep delivering this exciting transformative work," he said.

Kate Pearson, deputy head of charities for the People's Postcode Lottery said: "It's such a fantastic organis-ation, offering life-changing opportunities for all the young people involved.

"We are proud that the £100,000 support from players has enabled the charity to expand its existing offering and we look forward to working together to achieve even more in future."

The Raploch children left for South America on January 8 and were guests of El Sistema in Caracas, with their stay including tuition and a major concert.

George Anderson, comm-unications manager of Sistema Scotland, said: "The Big Trip has been an enormous success. They worked hard and had fun, and we hope the experience will throw them into their music with continuing enthusiasm. Lots of new friends have been made."

He added: "When they arrived back at Edinburgh airport the woman on the immigration desk said: 'I know you. You're Big Noise' She'd been at the Big Concert in 2012. They are coming home feeling six feet tall."

The charity Sistema Scotland was established in 2007 and works intensively with 1150 children a week.

Big Noise Raploch was established in 2008 and works with 450 children from babies through to teenagers.

Big Noise Govanhill was launched last summer and already works with 700 children from babies to Primary 3.