By James Somper
A clever dad decided to lift his spirits during the coronavirus lockdown by putting on a game of bingo – for his entire street.
Andy Wiggins, 46, printed off dozens of bingo sheets for his neighbours and even laid on some lockdown prizes – toilet roll, soap, rice and prosecco.
With the help of his wife Vicki, 49, and two daughters Millie, 18, and Maisy, 13, the Vehicle contract hire and leasing boss became bingo master for the whole of his street in Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.
Despite his reservations, the game was a resounding success and Andy and Vicki say they’ve been swamped with messages of support and have already planned to put on another game next week.
Andy said: “We were just sat here as a family and a lot of people live on the street. Some of them are older and vunerable and have been in isolation for a while.
“It was something we thought we could do to make people happy.
“There are quite a few elderly people on the road and we thought we’d do a bit extra and put the bingo on.
“It’s quite nice in these dark and uncertain times to see people coming together.”
Vicki along with her two daughters printed off bingo cards and after whacking on a pair of gloves placed them under stones outside their neighbour’s houses so as to observe the correct social distancing.
She said: “It was all Andy’s idea. He’s been working from home and on Saturday morning he said ‘let’s do bingo from the bedroom window’.
“I thought ‘good idea, let’s go for it’.
“Andy is a very sociable guy. He’s a workaholic and runs a company called My Big Green Fleet but loves a party so this was his way of keeping people happy and lifting everyone’s spirits.
“My daughter went online and printed off the bingo cards and also made a flyer for our neighbours telling them that it was going to be on.
“We put gloves on and distributed them to our street saying it would start at 6pm.
“Andy said we needed to have prizes so we decided to choose things which people would value in the current situation so we chose loo roll, soap, rice and prosecco.”
The family set up an amp and speaker in the upstairs bedroom window and initially expected only a few residents to join in.
But Vicki said she and Andy were overwhelmed with the reaction from their neighbours.
In total, the entire street joined in, playing six rounds with Maisy leaving the prizes outside their neighbours homes, after being sanitised.
Proud at the success of the game, Vicki said: “Everyone in our street joined in. People further down were shouting that they wanted to join in so we went down with gloves and left cards outside their houses so they could play too.
“We’re going to do another game next week.
“There was lots of laughing, shouting and cheering. It was a great way to raise the spirits cheerfully and also safely.”
Vicki added: “It was such a success that people have been messaging us asking to join in next week.
“One of our neighbours even left a bottle of bubbly outside that had been sanitised for us.
“People have even shouted thank you to us as we’ve been out walking in the morning.
“We both just hope that it brings a smile to someone’s face and makes the week that bit more bearable for them.
“Times are tough but we should all try and have a laugh.”