Kids In action welcomed HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, to the charity’s home in Dunstable to see the work they do in the community.
Charity founder Paul Bowen-James met Helen when he was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last year.
He was awarded the medal in recognition of setting up Kids In Action and offering a service to children and adults with special needs.
Paul said: “I was fortunate last year to receive a BEM, I met Helen there and invited her down to see the work we do.
“She spent a couple of hours here during the drop in session for over 18’s, she spent time with our members, playing connect four and doing a puzzle for them, she really enjoyed herself.
“We would like to thank her for taking the time to come down here and see what we do.
“We will keep Helen updated with the work we do.”
Helen Nellis said: “I was very impressed with the dedication and professionalism of the wonderful people who have established Kids in Action.
“They are an exemplar of how to make a real difference. Equally impressive are the young people I met.
“They are lively, engaging and thoroughly enjoying the stimulating and friendly community created by Kids in Action. “I congratulate everyone on many years of hard work and resilience which has resulted in this amazing organisation. I wish them continuing success.”
Mr Bowen-James added: “I was deeply shocked to receive this honour, it’s humbling. When I set this up 21 years ago I did not do it to get a pat on the back, but it is nice to get recognised.
“It is not just me though, it is about the whole team, I can’t do it without them.
“I think I am a lucky guy because I am doing a job I totally adore it’s not a job, it is a lifestyle and it’s brilliant, these children and adults are all benefiting from this vision that I had all them years ago, it is now a reality and will hopefully be here for a long time.
“I was highly honoured to receive the award.”