Beyond Housing has announced the winner of its colourful ‘Chalk your Street Challenge,’ aimed at combatting social isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Balmoral Road, Lingdale, was announced as the winner of the ‘Connected Against Covid Chalk your Street Challenge’ which invited East Cleveland residents to team up with their neighbours by drawing pictures on the pavements of their street.

The winning creation saw a chain of pavement drawings depicting families with extended arms, connected to similar drawings on neighbouring streets.

The campaign was also used by a number of residents as an opportunity to write messages of thanks for key workers, the NHS and the Middlesbrough Football Club (MFC) Foundation on pavements and roads.

The project was started by Beyond Housing, in partnership with Youth Focus North East and MFC Foundation, donating more than 600 chalk packs and information sheets to families in the area. The competition saw many families take part, including local children and teachers from Skelton and Lingdale primary schools.

After the winner of the competition was revealed, Youth Focus North East announced that it will be working with residents of the winning street, Balmoral Road, 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 awarded £700 towards the cost of their community party.

Beyond Housing also announced that due to the quality of the entries in the competition, prizes were to be awarded down to 6th place, with the residents of each colourful street receiving funding. The results of the competition were:

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, Community Connector at Beyond Housing, said: “The response from the East Cleveland community was beyond our expectations. We were amazed at some of the entries.

“This collaborative project shows how even simple ideas can have a positive impact and help people connect to others given the right opportunity.”

Helen Kennedy, Development Officer, at Youth Focus North East, said: “Helping to bring good old-fashioned community spirit to an area that I care about has been fantastic. We believe this project helped to address issues of isolation and loneliness and brought people 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 help create a positive project and celebration was amazing.”