Banbury woman raises community spirit by organising 'Street Bingo' game with neighbours

A Banbury woman organised a 'Street Bingo' game as a way of raising community spirit amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

By Matt Elofson
Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 6:08 pm

Mandy Sammons organised the 'Street Bingo' game with the help of her two children, Mason, aged 13, and Amber-Louise, aged 12, who handed the flyers and tickets out to neighbourhs (at a safe distance) Sunday morning (April 5) several hours before the 3pm game time.

People were invited to bring their tickets, a pen and chair to their doorway or roadside for a couple games of friendly bingo. Each player kept to the 'social distancing' rules by playing from their driveway, garden or doorway.

Top prizes for the 'Street Bingo' set up in the Neithrop neighbourhood included the oft sold out items of two toilet paper rolls.

Top prizes of ribbon wrapped toilet paper and sponges in the 'Street Bingo' game

Mandy said: "We only have just over 20 houses, but we had 32 players including children.

"My neighbour Wendy donated prizes of cleaning products and essentials then took them to the end of people's drives when they won, at the end I was given prizes by other residents for next week and people will bring chocolate eggs for the children."

Mandy used a microphone from her daughter's bingo machine to help make her neighbours could hear each call in the came.

She added: "It was good fun and something we will continue to do.

Banbury Street Bingo

"We most certainly are doing it this week and as its Easter. Either myself or our son Mason will be in the bunny costume depending who it fits best as it belongs to one of the neighbours.

"We might put some music on it this week between games to get people moving too. We hope to get everyone out this week as three or four houses didn't join, but some have said they will after watching last week."

Mandy said the 'Street Bingo' idea just evolved from an online bingo game she had played with other school mums on a Friday during isolation.

She said: "One of the mums suggested I do one in our street so after a few wines it seemed a good idea to put the feelers out.

Children playing 'Street Bingo'

"So when four people said they would play I thought that was all we would get, our children Mason and Amber-Louise handed the flyers and tickets out Sunday morning and then chairs and outdoor sofas started appearing. It was then we realised how many people were coming out to play.

"My husband Peter had a really serious car accident in May last year being hit by a drink driver on his way to work as an electrician. He fought very hard for his life in the JR (John Radcliffe Hospital).

"He got through it and is well on the road to recovery. So I realise more than ever, we can't plan for tomorrow. So live for the day and that's very much what I do."

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