As the next generation growing up in Andover, the views of 13 and 14 year olds are particularly valuable for the Andover Vision project who recently led a workshop with Harrow Way Year 8 students to capture their thoughts on the future needs of the town.

Councillor Phil North, who has been coordinating the project, said: ““Andover Vision is about establishing our residents’ hopes and aspirations for the town and consulting young people about their views is a vital part of ensuring we achieve this goal. Harrow Way’s students had some very good and well thought out ideas about what they like, what they are not so keen on and what they would like to see happen in Andover in the future.”

Working in a number of small groups the Andover Vision team established that the students were keen to see the variety of shops improved. They were particularly enthusiastic about more shops which target young people such as clothing outlets, computing stores and different places to eat.

Encouraged to also consider the wider community with its broad age-profile, the students explored the varying needs and worked together to plan a town incorporating the key features important to the health and wellbeing of a town’s population.

Rachel Atherton, Associate Senior Leader at Harrow Way said: “The team at Andover Vision ran a great work shop for the students. They really got them thinking about the future and how their needs and those of the community change over time but still need to be met by the town. They gave their own wish lists full consideration as they dreamed up the perfect town while also having to think beyond their needs to a much wider, diverse community. I was delighted to see our students, as always, throwing themselves into the task enthusiastically.”

Andover Vision is a joint partnership project. Local community groups, voluntary organisations, businesses, statutory bodies and most importantly, the public have been giving their views on a vision for Andover. Together with the community an Andover Vision Action Plan will draw together feedback and ideas into a document that will set out what Andover wants to achieve over the next 20 years. The Vision has consulted with 1,500 people of all ages including four schools to find out what young people have to say about the town where they live.

Feedback from residents will be used to develop an Andover Vision document and action plan, which are expected to be launched in April 2017.More information on Andover Vision and how to get involved can be found on their Facebook page.