Love Where You Live! That is the motto and message behind Test Valley Borough Council’s ‘Sparkle Days’, a series of community clean-ups taking place throughout 2012 and early 2013. Organised by the council and carried out by enthusiastic and generous volunteers, these spring-cleans will restore the sparkle to local environments throughout the Test Valley area.
It’s a sad fact that there are small areas within any community that are often overlooked. These could be private land, neglected sites, places that are difficult to reach, or indeed just areas that are accidentally missed during general upkeep. Test Valley’s Sparkle Days aim to tackle these pesky sites, and through at least 10 organised clean-ups in 2012 various areas will go through a ‘deep clean’. Stockbridge has already been treated to a makeover, and the next lucky locale will be Andover Town Centre, with a Sparkle Day scheduled for Friday 22nd June.
On each Sparkle Day, a huge, concerted effort will sweep the streets clean of refuse. But it’s not just superficial litter that will be scoured away. Test Valley Council aims to coordinate its service with volunteer groups, grounds maintenance teams, street cleaning teams, and other people within Environmental Services in order to combat various issues such as weeds, overgrown shrubbery, graffiti, and detritus on the roads as well as litter. Attention will also be paid to troublesome potholes, dirty road signs, and unmown grass – anything messy will get a good seeing-to! Businesses may also be asked to give their private land a tidy-up, and in return the council will remove any waste that has accumulated. In addition, residents will be helped with any questions they may have about dealing with their waste and recycling.
With the Andover Sparkle Day approaching, the council has already had a keen response from local residents, but more volunteers are still desired. Anyone who can spare lend a hand for even a half-hour is encouraged to join in the effort, emailing the Sparkle Day coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org to get their name down on the list of helpers. Volunteers will then be contacted in advance of 22nd June with an allocated area at which to meet… and then tidy!
Long-term Andover resident and dedicated Attitude of Gratitude campaigner Manuela Wahnon is helping to drum up volunteers for the town’s Sparkle Day. “As an anti-litter campaigner myself with my own campaign running, I am always more than happy to be of assistance to the council and the Love Where You Live part in particular,” she told HugoFox News, “so I am wishing and hoping that the Sparkle Day is a huge success.”
Those keen to help but not local to Andover needn’t wait long, as more Sparkle Days are planned for the coming months. July will see Lavington Gardens in North Baddesley get a clean-up, while autumn will bring volunteers to Kings Somborne, Fyfield, and Kimpton as well as Andover’s Sheepfair area. Charlton, Viney Avenue in Romsey, and further locations in Andover will all come under the scrubbing brush in 2013.
Love Where You Live is the banner under which Test Valley Borough Council conducts its anti-litter campaign. Launched in February 2011, this new drive aims to inspire everyone to improve and care for the environment in which they live and work. More about the campaign can be found at the council’s website, along with advice about tackling particularly troublesome problems like graffiti. The site also includes information on how you can help in your area, such as becoming a community litter picker or organising your own group litter pick.
Help your town to sparkle by getting involved today!