Full house as whole street come out to play 'social distance bingo' during lockdown

A street in north Wales have been playing bingo with each other from their driveways as a way to pass the time during lockdown.

Residents on the street in Bruton Park Estate, Rhyl, sit on their drives and play the game every week, as one of their neighbours calls out the numbers.

One resident said the community has always been close-knit but they have now been brought "very much closer together" since the lockdown.

Due to lockdown and social distancing regulations, people must only leave their homes for essential reasons and remain two metres away from each other.

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The idea to play a game of "social distance bingo" came when some of the residents decided it would be a good way to get people out of their homes and socialising.

The neighbours, who live on Maes Menlli in Rhyl, now play bingo every Sunday and have even started quizzes too.

And it has been a huge success.

Debbie Holmes has lived on the street for 30 years. She said they have always been "a close-knit community" so when they asked people if they fancied a game of social distance bingo, people were eager to join in.

Now, the whole street gets involved and are donating prizes.

It's gone down extremely well, they're all putting prizes in.

Debbie Holmes

People have donated prizes of wine, chocolates, toiletries and even slightly more unconventional items, like a wire chicken!

Debbie's neighbour prints out the bingo cards to distribute and each one is given a number so they can be electronically checked when a player calls out.

Debbie said there is a really sense of community on the street now since the coronavirus outbreak. She said, "You find out subtle things about your neighbours which is nice, everybody's helping each other.

"It's brought us very much closer together."

She added that what they are doing is important for people's mental health, ensuring they "know they are not alone" during the pandemic.

The street now have plans for a social distance VE Day picnic on Friday 8 and for a street party when the lockdown rules are lifted. Debbie said "any excuse for a street party and we'll do it."

The residents all sit on their drives to join in the weekly bingo game. Credit: Debbie Holmes

And they are not the only ones getting involved, street bingo has become popular across Wales.

People on one street in Cardiff have also been playing bingo from their front doorsteps.

And this street in Merthyr also gave it a go.