Get Andover Talking

Get Andover TalkingIt’s happening in Andover and it’s your chance to be part of something good!

What? It’s happening in Andover therefore it will be rubbish?

I’ve been guilty of thinking this myself. But what if everyone overcame their reservations and showed up?

What if the people of Andover persevered, and made a contribution towards making Andover the town they want to see? Isn’t that what Richard aka @AndoverUK has done with this site?

The Energy in Andover is Changing

Some people think it’s too late to save Andover. But some people think Andover is an opportunity; that the fact it’s sometimes lacking, gives us space to find solutions.

It only takes a moment (in a town full of conversations about what could or should be done) to realise that the energy, passion and a shared desire to take action is building momentum.

It will take effort and co-ordination to use it to best effect, for the benefit of the town but…

It’s happening in Andover and it’s your chance to be part of something good!

@AndoverUK (the twitter account) represents people’s desire to communicate via a local platform on local issues and stay connected and informed about what is going on in the town.

The success of the Twitter account has led to this website which gives a more permanent platform to the discussions and information sharing @AndoverUK and its 1,600 local followers take part in on Twitter every week.

In creating this site Richard has been the change he wanted to see – investing his time in a project for Andover because he cares about it. Websites is his thing. What’s your thing? Don’t give up on Andover and your part in it – get on board!

10 ways to Support Andover 

Pick your favourites:

1. Talk to people: show an interest in what people care about and are involved in locally, you’ll be amazed!

2. Support local events: businesses and organisations who are trying to make Andover a happening place need your support – help them make you proud!

3. Spread the word: if you know something is happening in Andover, talk about it, because that’s all this town has got; all that works is word-of-mouth.

4. Be positive – break the habit of doing Andover down.

5. Andover isn’t perfect: if something really isn’t working – try to fix it or find someone who can.

6. Stop making excuses and shop local whenever you can.

7. Stay in the loop with news from @AndoverUK and the Andover Town website.

8. Participate. Your local memberships, sports, volunteering, leisure activities, groups and classes, anything that keeps you active in the community gives you a connection to the local people and the place. So don’t do yourself down – every interaction is an opportunity to make a difference at a local level.

9. Make your mark – seize any opportunity to contribute to positive change in Andover.

10. Look to the future. Now it is time to dream a future, and make Andover a place you feel proud to be part of.

Feeling good about Andover? 

I bet I’m not the only one to have noticed a new energy and the sense that there is hope for Andover through the conversations and happenings taking place throughout the town.

If you’ve noticed it too (no matter how fleetingly) please tell us about it below.


by Maija from Pixink

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  • Well done Maija. I agree. And well said.

    It does seem there’s a lot of interest – and it’s great. But you’re right too: things will only be different if people act differently. We need to talk up the good things and actually be prepared to roll up our sleeves and DO something to improve the bad.

    I’m going to adopt all 10 of your suggestions. And to start, I’ll share five things that make me glad to live in Andover:

    1. My children feel safe here. Crime is low and I feel happy to walk anywhere in the town, at almost any time, day or night
    2. The road system is brilliant, when compared to other towns. We don’t really know what a traffic jam is (and that’s allowing for Weyhill Road and Salisbury Road in the mornings and Enham Arch any time of the day)
    3. House prices are more affordable – and the towns around can’t say that
    4. It’s close to everywhere – London, the beach, the West Country, the Midlands, the biggest airport in the country – and surrounded by beautiful countryside
    5. And what Andover lacks in department stores it makes up in community spirit. The people are friendly, helpful and supportive. The stories told at the Pride of Andover awards each year are incredible. If you get the chance, come and listen to them for yourself. I tell you, you will cry.

    OK. We’ve got a long way to go before we’re all happy – and the town centre needs some serious work to find its own niche and style. But Andover is much more than a slightly shabby town centre. We’ve much to build on.

    Thank you for reminding us that we have to make sure hope and change are contagious.

  • Great article Maija – and thanks for the feedback.

    Good points made by Marie too about the town – it’s not perfect but it’s not that bad.

    I have noticed a difference in the town and would say some of it started with the Facebook Groups and the reversal of the A-Board decision. People could see that actually things can get done.

    Personally I feel the town has a lot of potential and if everyone could do just one thing off your list it would make a huge difference. Dave Brailsford ran the hugely successful GB Olympic Cycle Team on making a minimum 1% improvement in each area – and see what that did!

  • Wonderful article Maija!

    I had also been in the doldrums about Andover until I joined the FB pages. I have a positive outlook about Andover now because I can see, in front of my eyes, that projects are being pursued, that people are really interested in getting involved and are actively doing so.

    It’s been of great benefit that we have the Councilors reading and responding; so encouraging 🙂

    There are so many good things about Andover when we LOOK for them and break the cycle of being perpetually negative.

    It’d be SPLENDID to have your article and the fabulous artwork next to it, on posters around the town to reach people that aren’t on any of these pages yet.

  • Thank you, it is great to have some responses to the article already (keep them coming please!)

    I noticed as early as July last year that Andover’s future and Andover’s potential was a hot topic – it wasn’t as though there was a single hot bed of activity and inspiration – in all sorts of places, all sorts of people were talking about Andover with great feeling and hopelessness and so I began to think about what could be done.

    The moment when I realised something was changing was September – when Sir George Young attended the monthly Andover Informal Bussiness Networking Evening at Propaganda. Everyone I spoke to in a room of 50+ local people had their own way of saying (each in their own way) “I have an idea of what would make Andover better – there is more to Andover than this.” The next event is 28th March – drop in anytime between 5pm – 10pm.

    The biggest “wow” moment in recent months was when approx. 150 – 200 people showed up to the Costa Coffee and Aton Road Studios Acoustic Open Mic night in January. What was that all about? This was their first event, and there was apparently no struggle to get bums on seats. By Andover’s standards this was an unexpected turnout – the place was so full it was standing room only, and people were being turned away from the door. The response to that one event alone will have changed people’s minds about what is possible.

  • Jayne – posters, great idea. If I could find a way to make it fit, don’t you think postcards be a lovely way to share it? 🙂

    • Maija,

      I think postcards would be a very positive and inclusive way of saying * Please join in, please help have a vision for our town*. I think your “10 ways to support Andover” are REACHABLE for everyone….they aren’t beyond anyone at all.

      I’m aware that there is an enormous amount of folk in Andover and surrounding areas that haven’t heard of the many things that are being tackled. We MUST do what we can to include these people as it will be crucial to changing attitudes.

      I think that there are many folk that feel estranged from a *future* Andover because they don’t actually feel a part of any ground swell movement, or decisions being taken, and feel like a leaf in the wind ” taken wherever the wind blows”. When folk feel involved and included they naturally feel that it MATTERS to be so!

      Postcards to residents can be a step toward including the many people that feel excluded from having their say and being listened to.

      I have noticed that new posters on the FB groups sometimes start off with the things that have irked them, things that they feel “unheard” about. They are looking for “someone” to do “something”…and then, when they realise that the other people involved are just like them, speaking up and speaking out and trying to “do it for themselves” they tend to become more positive. Positivity is contageous!

      In my usual long-winded way….YES to postcards, let’s help the folk that are uninvolved find a way to be involved 🙂

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