A BASINGSTOKE-based charity has been given a national volunteer award.

Inspero, based in Old Worting Road, was one of the 250 voluntary groups that were given a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year.

The charity, which promotes healthy eating and living in young people through food growing, baking and cooking programmes, was announced as one of the winners on the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, on June 2.

It is the highest award that can be given to volunteer groups in the UK, which recognises exceptional service in communities.

Catherine Waters-Clark, the founder and chief executive of Inspero, said: “It’s just absolutely amazing that we won, we are so thrilled.

“We are a small charity, but we help more than 600 young people, and it is wonderful to be recognised.

“We have only been going for six years, which is a relatively short period of time to be around, compared to some of the other charities who won.”

Inspero was nominated by parents and clients of the various classes and programmes which they run, with the majority of the work being done by volunteers. A lot of the work involves getting young people outside, supporting them in developing skills and increased mental well-being.

Catherine, along with chair of trustees Samia Calvet, attended the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on June 5, meeting Prince Charles. Catherine added: “We were so privileged to go, we were one of the very few picked out of thousands to go along.

“We met Prince Charles, who was so lovely, and interested in our work. He made a bit of a joke hearing that we were from Basingstoke, saying that there were a lot of roundabouts, which was quite sweet.

“He told us that we are doing very important work, and thanked us.”