Local News

Andover’s Unsung Hero Awards

Unsung Heroes Test Valley Awards

Local charity Unity with north west Hampshire’s Member of Youth Parliament have announced a new local awards scheme to recognise and highlight ‘heroes’ in the Test Valley during the Coronavirus pandemic.


Created by Dmitrijs Meiksans MYP and supported by a variety of local organisations, including Andover Town Council, the Test Valley COVID-19 Unsung Heroes Awards have been launched today.

The awards process will run for ten weeks from today to recognise two unsung heroes each week who will be shortlisted from a pool of nominations that will be received by members of the public.

“The pandemic has been difficult in so many ways and for a lot of people,” said Dmitrijs.

“At the very beginning of the first lockdown, there began an urgent need for volunteers to support those shielding, vulnerable and self-isolating.

Unity pioneered to lead the Test Valley effort to support its residents during the pandemic via the Test Valley Community Helpline, with the support of local community organisations and Test Valley Borough Council.”

A call for volunteers saw huge response from individuals at the start of the pandemic almost a year ago with local groups being created such as the Love Andover Isolation Help Group.

The volunteer organisation had hundreds of volunteers ‘stepping up’ to support residents of the Andover area who were ‘at the highest risk’ by collecting medication and prescriptions as well as assisting with shopping and running errands.

Dmitrijs says, “It is time now to further reflect on the selfless actions of the people who have dedicated a lot of time and effort to be able to provide for their local communities, and we wanted to do come together to do something to honour them and boost morale by sharing their stories of volunteering during the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Each recipient’s story will be shared on social media, on Andover Radio, across the various Love Andover platforms, in other local print media, a blog on the official Test Valley COVID-19 Unsung Heroes Award website as well as other outlets.


Terry Bishop, Chief Executive Officer of Unity says, “Unity has been running the Test Valley Annual Volunteering Awards for many years, so it seems only right for us to be involved in this campaign. There are so many individuals who are deserving but to be able to shine the light on a few is extremely special indeed”.

To nominate your UNSUNG HERO, please visit loveandover.com/awards.

Ben Tuffin from Love Andover says, “We know of hundreds of people who have simply been amazing during the lockdown period. And we are so proud to support Unity and Dmitrijs’ efforts to highlight these people.

“We think it’s hugely important that those individuals who have show compassion and action during this period should be recognised and rewarded.”

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.