At Saturday’s March for Optimism in Andover, the Mayor of Test Valley Borough Council, Cllr Mrs Iris Anderson helped lead the procession. She carried a banner declaring ‘ANDOVER: Wonderful Town, Beautiful People’.
With pupils from local primary schools, local community leaders, artists and members of the public all taking part, the march created a colourful spectacle in Andover High Street on Saturday afternoon.
The March for Optimism was the final event of the four week project: “The Bureau of Exchange” pop-up shop. I worked with visitors to the shop to make placards and banners celebrating people’s reasons for feeling optimistic. Peter also worked with pupils from St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School who each designed their own placard to take on the march.
The turnout for the March was about 37 people (by my headcount) but I think it created a real buzz of excitement and brought together different representatives of the local schools, public servants, community leaders and volunteers along with the Andover art community. In that way I am sure it was a success and sowed the seeds of new relationships and future collaborations. It was a fitting finale for the Bureau of Exchange pop-up shop project, which has been an outstanding success over the last four weeks.
We all know there is a lot to feel worried and anxious about in the world but we’re celebrating the fact that optimism still exists despite all that and many people are still motivated to do good things to help others and to change things for the better. The most exciting thing for me was seeing the children taking part (the youngest ‘marcher’ was only three weeks old). I hope seeing them parading their placards with optimistic slogans has helped put smiles on a few faces around the Town.