Havant's Spring Arts and Heritage Centre hails its Covid heroes

The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant and Gobbledegook Theatre have been working together to celebrate local lockdown heroes.

Signs of Solidarity exhibition at The Spring
Signs of Solidarity exhibition at The Spring

They have been gathering positive stories from the community and creating pop-up placards to honour, thank and celebrate the people and organisations who have made a real difference.

The signs are delivered by pedicab and installed in public spaces across Havant, Hayling Island, Emsworth and Leigh Park.

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The pop-up placards have been curated and sign-written by Gobbledegook Theatre and will be used as part of an exhibition at The Spring to celebrate the community.

Director of The Spring Sophie Fullerlove said: “The Signs of Solidarity project is part of Here and Now, a national arts campaign to mark 25 years of the National Lottery by creating 40 new commissioned works in arts centres across the country that examine and celebrate the concept of community in the 21st century.

“The Spring had originally been working on another community-led project with Gobbledegook Theatre, a company that creates immersive art and performance theatre, but due to the pandemic the plans had to be put on hold and a new approach was called for.

“Since March the team at Gobbledegook have been gathering positive stories and feedback from the local community and creating special surprise signs, delivered by pedicab and installed in public spaces across Havant, Hayling Island, Emsworth and Leigh Park to honour local lockdown heroes.

“Temporary placards have already been installed to recognise a range of individuals and organisations including Stoke Fruit Farm Shop for their drive-in service during lockdown, Bedhampton Nursing Home to thank the whole team for their hard work and Community Kindness Group which was set up to help others by collecting prescriptions, walking dogs and providing neighbourly support.

“More signs will be appearing over the coming months culminating in January when they will be displayed at The Spring as part of a special exhibition showcasing the best of the community during this significant time in history.”

Sophie added: “Despite all the difficulties of this year, it has been moving and inspiring to see how our community has come together. From individual heroes and organisations to local landmarks such as the Billy Trail in Havant, which provided many with a welcome escape during lockdown, there is a lot to celebrate.

“We’ve been talking to a lot of people in the community throughout the pandemic and are continually inspired by their resilience and generosity, not to mention their creativity in finding new ways to help others. Lorna at Gobbledegook Theatre has captured this spirit perfectly with the signs that are being installed to highlight and record all the amazing things that people have done in this challenging year.”

You can contribute your own stories to the project by using the hashtag #SignsofSolidarity on social media and by connecting to Gobbledegook on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.