A SMALL Cotswold charity has beaten off stiff competition from an award-winning, multi-million pound library to be named archive of the year.

The Planned Environment Therapy Trust’s Archive and Study Centre, in Toddington, collected the prestigious accolade on Saturday at the Who Do You Think You Are?

Live Roadshow, in London.

Readers of Your Family History magazine and members of the public nominated the charity for the award, which was presented by BBC broadcaster, historian, and magazine editor Dr Nick Barratt.

Dr Barratt said it was a close contest with Worcester’s £60 million Hive, a joint initiative between Worcestershire County Council and the University Worcester, which was runner-up.

Chris Long, of the charity, said: “We were absolutely astounded and very pleased.

It was a real accolade for us especially as it was a close thing with the Hive. Having visited the Hive with my daughter and grandchildren it’s a spectacular place.”

The Church Lane-based archive, which was established in 1989, gathers information to help people understand and support troubled children and adults.

Dr Craig Fees, archivist for the charity, said they were delighted to have won.

“We’re just a small charity.

To be up there and just to be considered with places like local authorities and nationally recognised places is just astounding in the first place but to win was incredible.

“This is a wonderful endorsement of the work we have been able to do, especially with the help of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. We have been able to work closely with a number of people, who were children in care, their families, and friends.”