Local News

Final Covid Hero awards announced

Covid Unsung Hero Andy Lavery Andover
Andy Lavery

The tenth and final set of recipients to receive a Test Valley COVID-19 Unsung Heroes Award have been announced.

The two final recipients are Andover’s Andy Lavery and Sally Baker. The award aims to recognise and highlight the amazing people that have gone above and beyond to assist their local communities throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

Andy Lavery is the local fitness instructor who challenged local people ‘with some spare money’ to help him support families on low incomes over the lockdown period.

One nominator said of Andy, “During the Covid situation not only did Andy keep Test Valley residents fit by adapting his Dawn Breakers business to operate online with amazing support, but he also arranged to fundraise to provide families struggling over Christmas to be given vouchers to buy food and presents for their young.”

Sally Baker also received an award, nominations said, “Sally is a hard working, willing and relentless volunteer at the Covid-19 vaccination centre at The Lights in Andover, working as a supervisor and manager.  She has been full of new ideas to help make things work in a slick way.  [She] works hard on team dynamics and keeping other volunteers happy.”

Previous winners of the ten week long award process have included Ryan Rawlinson was recognised for his fundraising to help young people with tablets for Home Schooling and Irene Williams who had been entertaining care home residents with live performances on Facebook.

Dmitrijs Meiksans, the organiser of the awards scheme along with local charity Unity, said, “To say that these are the very last recipients is so shocking, but this program has simply been so rewarding to see.

The local member of youth parliament added, “Calling the recipients every week to notify them of their nomination and then shortlisting their nomination, is so lovely and has been the best part of this whole experience.”

Nominations are now officially closed – to see all of the recipients, you should visit www.testvalleycuha.co.uk.

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.