AN AWARD making its debut this year at the Place to be Proud of Awards on Thursday last week went to a charity for its work helping young people in the area with mental health issues.

In its first appearance at the Place to be Proud of Awards, the Green Community Award went to Inspero’s Nature2Nurture Forest School Scheme.

The award is given to businesses or organisations making a difference to the environment in Basingstoke.

The scheme works with schools, to provide educational classes in Inspero’s ‘forest school’ as well as with cooking and horticulture.

The main goal of the project is to get more children to experience outdoor life.

Another part of the project is to support for children with mental issues and severe emotional needs.

The aim of the programme is to help the students build resilience, positivity and confidence.

Catherine Waters-Clark, chief executive officer of Inspero, told the Gazette upon winning the award: “I was so pleased to win the award, I was gobsmacked.

“It is very challenging work, and it can be quite heart-wrenching to see such young children with severe emotional needs.

“We work hard and try our best and we do see progress.

“It is amazing what can happen and we enjoy it and it really is what keeps us going.”

Felicity Edwards, managing director of award sponsor Destination Basingstoke, said: “The judges loved the way Inspero’s Nature2 Nurture is helping young people learn about their environment, gaining new skills at a time when we all need to be more aware of where our food comes from.”

RUNNERS UP: Festival Place cleaning and maintenance team and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council parks team