Linkline Local News

Andover’s social action vision for young people

Empowering Young People - Unity Big Lottery Fund
National social action: Andover

Andover has been chosen to take part in national social action programme

The Big Lottery Fund and Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) have today announced Andover as one of 20 places in England taking part in the Place Based Social Action programme which launched last October.

The Placed Based Social Action programme aims to support communities to put social action at the heart of plans which make a positive difference in the local area.

In Test Valley, 22% of the population are under 17 years old, which is higher than the national average.

Responding to this, Unity (formerly Test Valley Community Services) will work with local people to develop a social action plan which aims to make the town a place where young people enjoy living and want to put down roots.

The project will happen under the banner of the Andover Vision and will bring together local Andover residents, businesses and voluntary groups.

Terry Bishop, Chief Executive of Unity said, “Unity is delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the Place Based Social Action programme and lead this community consultation. 

“This opportunity will engage the wider community through the Andover Vision strategic partnership and will be a positive step for Andover. 

“To empower the community in this way is exciting and will result in an even more vibrant community in this lovely market town.”

The project gives people the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the design and delivery of local services by bringing together communities, local authorities, public sector organisations, service providers, civil society organisations and businesses to address local priorities.

The plan will look at how social action could be used to support the creation of a community hub in Andover town centre. The idea behind the centre will be to encourage young people to meet together, volunteer and get involved in community life.

Before the end of the year, the 20 partnerships taking part in this first stage of the programme will work with Locality, the national network for community organisations, to design their local social action plan.

In early 2019, up to 10 of the 20 partnerships taking page in this first stage will go on to be awarded funding of up to £240,000 for three years to put their plans into action. Following this, up to five of these partnerships will be awarded further funding of up to £255,000 to develop and expand their plans for another three years to December 2024.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sports and Civil Society, said, “Communities lie at the heart of our commitment to build a society that works for everyone. This investment, bolstered by partnerships, will create positive change as people work together to develop solutions to overcome local issues in their area.”

Place Based Social Action will run until 2025 and is administered by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with DCMS.

Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. Since June 2004 it has awarded £8.5 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.