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Beyond Housing helps to launch ‘Chalk your Street’ campaign

A colourful campaign, backed by Beyond Housing, to combat social isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 outbreak has been judged a huge success.

The Connected Against Covid Chalk your Street Challenge invited East Cleveland residents to draw pavement pictures of their families with extended arms to connect them with similar drawings on neighbouring streets. Messages of thanks were also written on the pavements for key workers, the NHS and local charity, Middlesbrough Football Club (MFC) Foundation.

In partnership with Youth Focus North East and MFC Foundation, Beyond Housing donated more than 600 chalk packs and information sheets to get the project started.

Many families across the area took part, along with local children and teachers from Skelton and Lingdale primary schools.

Now that the artwork has been judged, Youth Focus North East will be working with residents of the winning street, Balmoral Road, Lingdale, to plan, design and deliver a street party for everyone to enjoy once it is safe to do so, in line with government guidance. The successful residents were also awarded £700 towards the cost of their community party.

The judges were faced with so many excellent entries that prizes were awarded down to 6th place, with the residents of each colourful street receiving funding:

  • 2nd place. Coral Street, Saltburn – £500
  • 3rd place. Skelton Primary School – £500
  • 4th place. Lindale Primary School – £500
  • 5th place. Britannia Terrace, Brotton – £400
  • 6th place. Hirds Drive, Loftus – £400

Rachael Crooks, Housing Officer at Beyond Housing, said: “The response from East Cleveland was beyond our expectations and we were truly amazed at some of the entries. This collaborative project has really opened our eyes to how such a simplistic idea can have a positive impact. People are truly connecting to others since being given the right opportunity.”

Helen Kennedy, Development Officer at Youth Focus North East, said: “Bringing good old-fashioned community spirit to an area that I care about has been fantastic. This was a project which addressed isolation and loneliness for all ages and brought everyone together at a time when it mattered most.” Lee Harding from the MFC Foundation added: “At MFC we really loved the idea. To bring people together, celebrate our communities and bring together a positive project and a celebration that we can look forward to is amazing.”