A KARATE instructor from Basildon who carried the Olympic torch last summer will use a new lottery grant to run self-defence classes for victims of domestic abuse.

Marc Grayston's scheme is one of 22 projects in East Anglia sharing £152,334 from the Big Lottery Fund's (Big) Awards For All programme.

Mr Grayston works for banking giant JP Morgan, but in his spare time he teaches karate to children in his home town of Basildon.

He has joined forces with Basildon Women's Aid to run an eight-week course of self-defence lessons for vulnerable women, using a lottery grant of £1,141.

Mr Grayston said: "I was approached after the people at Basildon Women's Aid saw me on TV carrying the Olympic torch. They had an idea for this project but didn't have any funds to get it going.

"We thought we'd take a chance applying to the Big Lottery Fund and I'm delighted to say we were successful. It's a win-win situation and we can't wait to get started."

Sara Betsworth, Big's head of the East of England region, said: "Projects like Marc's are the perfect example of how relatively small amounts of money can make a big difference and that is what Awards For All is about."