New initiative launched to recognise local unsung heroes

March 1, 2021

Dmitrijs Meiksans MYP, Member of Youth Parliament and Unity’s Youth Ambassador holding the scheme’s banner 

Dmitrijs Meiksans, in collaboration with Unity, has announced a new local awards scheme to recognise and highlight Test Valley’s Coronavirus heroes.

Supported by Andover Town Council, Romsey Town Council, The Lifestyle Card, Love Andover and Test Valley Borough Council, the ‘Test Valley COVID-19 Unsung Heroes Award’ will run for ten weeks, starting from the 1st March, to recognise two unsung heroes weekly which 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 – and 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 a great engagement at the beginning of the pandemic, with local groups being created, such as the Andover Self-Isolation Group, and hundreds of volunteers stepping up to support their fellow residents by collecting medication and prescriptions, assisting with shopping and running errands.

“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.” Dmitrijs continued.

Each recipient’s story will be shared on social media, via Andover Radio and the Love Andover platform, local newspapers, the blog on the official Test Valley COVID-19 Unsung Heroes Award website as well as other platforms.

“Unity has been engaged with the Covid-19 response since the pandemic commenced in March last year. To be able to partner with Dmitrijs to sing the praises of those across the valley who have done so much to help their communities seems a natural extension to this work. 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.” said Terry Bishop, Chief Executive Officer of Unity.

Members of the public are able to nominate their unsung hero by visiting www.testvalleycuha.co.uk/nominate.

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