The Trust that runs Basingstoke’s hospital is among the organisations and people recognised for their role in the town’s Covid-19 response.

At last week’s Place to be Proud of Awards, eight community champions were given special awards for the impact they have made.

Among these were Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, whose chief executive, Alex Whitfield, told the ceremony that she was proud of how her team have responded to the crisis.

“It has been kind of amazing and phenomenal in terms of how staff have responded to the challenge”, she said.

“The innovation from some of our teams, particularly microbiology and infection control.

“We were the first hospital in the country to be testing for Covid and we are now running our lab in a van taking Covid tests to the community.

“Thank you so much for this award, it really goes to all the thousands of staff and volunteers that we have working here who are just incredible.”

And as well as the hospital, a number of others were recognised for their efforts, including Louise Warwick, one of the first people to offer support to those in need during lockdown.

On a similar vain, Viables Community Association, Basingstoke Foodbank, Basingstoke CAB and Westside Community Centre have also been recognised for their services.

Richard Curtis, landlord of The Portsmouth Arms, was honoured for his record-breaking pub quiz marathon, raising money for charity, alongside The Apollo Hotel, which was transformed into a temporary hospital during the crisis.