The town’s local radio station has been awarded a grant from the government and players of the National Lottery to provide a multi-functional community bus.
Awarded because of Andover Radio’s continued commitment to providing community development projects, the organisation has been awarded £77,000 to design and deliver community projects to reduce social isolation.
Andover Radio is the owner of Love Andover, the community development arm of the radio station and this new detached outreach work is being designed in partnership with other local organisations.
The single-decker bus will be renovated to showcase a fully-equipped multimedia studio and social area, where people from in and around Andover will be invited to take part in engaging projects which include recording audio and video stories for broadcast.
Andover Radio’s Community Development director Mo Sweeney says, “There are plenty of people around the town who suffer isolation for one reason or another, it might be sight problems, their age or health issues.
“We intend to create innovative and really engaging projects to encourage those who may be suffering from depression, dementia or social anxiety and get them involved in new, really fun, rewarding activities.”
On hearing the news, Andover’s MP Kit Malthouse was quick to congratulate the team, “Huge congratulations to Andover Radio for receiving this well-deserved award.
“Their commitment to the local community is first class and their desire to use this money to help tackle social isolation is further evidence of their dedication. I’m looking forward to seeing the new bus and its multi-media studio in action.”
People with low self-esteem or are geographically isolated are also catered for with the projects designed by the radio station. Mr Sweeney adds, “We intend for the bus to be out and about at least three days a week, starting in March. The funding from Her Majesty’s Government and the National Lottery helps fund a number of sub-projects over the next two or more years.
“In the meantime we have a bus to renovate, before the end of March!
“Anyone willing to volunteer their time to be part of this incredible new service to support people in Andover are very welcome to get in contact.”