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Andover Chantry Centre transformed into cultural hub to celebrate group launch and exhibition

The Chantry Centre was transformed on Saturday 21 January as the Andover Cultural Sharing Forum held a free event to formally launch the group and celebrate a new exhibition in the town centre.

There was hair braiding, henna, the opportunity to try on Sari’s and plenty of food to try, with the public able to join members of the group, the Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr Alan Dowden, and the Mayoress, Cllr Celia Dowden.

Lots of people attended the event, many from different backgrounds and cultures, giving residents a great chance to learn more about their neighbours living in the town.

It was all to celebrate the Faces and Places of Andover Exhibition, which launched on the 12 January in the Unity Art Studios.

It runs until the 28 January.

Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr Alan Dowden, said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to attend the event on Saturday and meet many members of the community. To speak to, and learn about, people with diverse backgrounds who live in Andover was special and proved why these kinds of events are so important. The Cultural Sharing Forum is a brilliant group in the town and hope there are more of these events to come.

“The Faces and Places of Andover exhibition was great to look at as well, I would thoroughly recommend people to go and see it, but you will have to be quick as you only have until the 28 January!”

The Cultural Sharing Forum first came together at the start of 2022.

After conversions with different community leaders across Andover during the pandemic, a group made up of residents from the town’s diverse communities was formed.

They now meet once a month, with anyone welcome to join their meetings to share and discuss ways to celebrate and promote cultural diversity in Andover.

For more information visit the Andover Cultural Sharing Forum Facebook group or email