Mascots invade Fareham shopping street to highlight the work of the area’s ‘unsung heroes’

UNICORNS, superheroes and ‘a pooping pooch’ all took to the streets in a bid to drum up support for the area’s ‘unsung heroes’.

Sunday, 31st March 2019, 5:34 pm
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 5:03 pm
Picture: Chris Moorhouse (300319-32)

Fareham’s West Street shopping precinct came to a standstill on Saturday afternoon as the town marked its second Mascot March.

The event aimed to spread the word about voluntary and charitable organisations from across the area.

And it saw a bumper turnout of more than 50 people taking part in the colourful procession, led by people in fancy dress.

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Gosportarians Spiderman and Sgt Pepper era George, aka Malcolm Dent, on his 70th birthday. Mascot March, West Street, Fareham. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (300319-29)

The day was once again organised by Fareham’s team from One Community, which supports charities and groups in the area with their work.

Organiser Hayley Hamlett, who is the voluntary sector support at One Community, said: ‘Today has all been about helping people to understand what is going on in their community.

‘Days like today are absolutely crucial in helping to show all the amazing work and organisations here.’

At least 10 different groups took part in the procession.Among them was Cancer Research UK, Y Services, the Rainbow Centre, Abbie’s Heroes, and Friends Through Pain.

Abby's Heroes Picture: Chris Moorhouse (300319-31)

However, the biggest contingent to get their marching shoes on came from the Gosport Gang Show, whose performers came out in force.

Angie Shepherdson from the Gang Show said the day was fantastic in helping the group promote its next show at Ferneham Hall – which opens on April 10. She said: ‘The day has been fantastic. It’s been really good fun and just a really jolly event to be part of.’

The team, which is made up of performers aged from eight to 80, took the opportunity to hand out leaflets for their show.

Trevor Smith, from the Gang Show, admitted it was eye-opening to see so many different charities and groups taking part.

Picture: Chris Moorhouse (300319-30)

‘All the people in the voluntary sector are like the unsung heroes of the community,’ he added. ‘People don’t realise how much of their community is involved in it.’

Penny Raymond, manger at the Highland Hub, in Highlands Road, was dressed up as a dog for the walk and loved every minute of it. ‘It was really fun,’ she said. ‘The kids loved it when I was pooping as a dog.’

Hayley added there were plenty of opportunities for people to volunteer across the area - or to simply take part in different activities and make new friends.

‘There’s something out there to help everybody or for people to get involved in,’ she said. ‘We’re just here flagshipping all the great work going on in the area.’