"Spread a little happiness": Family in East Leeds create obstacle course for socially-distancing neighbours

They may not be able to spend time with their neighbours but a family in East Leeds have come up with an inventive way to keep the community entertained during the coronavirus lockdown.

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 9:22 pm

The Whitley family from Garforth have spread a bit of positive cheer in their street by drawing a playground-style obstacle course on the pavement.

The colourful, chalk designs include a hopscotch, a follow the line and a jump-the-line game that people can play as they do their daily exercise.

At the end of the schoolyard-inspired games is a bright rainbow, with the words 'stay safe' written around it.

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The Whitley family have drawn a chalk obstacle course to spread a bit of joy to their neighbours. Pictured is Sam Whitley, her husband Matthew and two children Macey and Mya.

The creative idea was thought up by 10-year-old Macey, who wanted to "spread a little happiness" around Garforth.

Her mum, Sam, 38, said: "My daughter Macey initially wanted to draw a rainbow on the path outside our house, to make people smile and spread a little happiness.

"She then suggested we should do a hopscotch for the children to do while out on their daily walk with their family and it developed from there......to hop the alphabet, follow the line and jump the lines.

"We then finished the little obstacle course with a rainbow with 'Stay Safe' written below it.

The Whitley family have drawn a chalk obstacle course to spread a bit of joy to their neighbours. Pictured is Sam Whitley, her husband Matthew and two children Macey and Mya.

"It's getting lots of attention, smiles and laughter. Which is exactly why Macey wanted to do it."

The bookmaker, who is also mum to Mya, 17, said that the street is very tight-knit and has been working together to keep each other's spirits high and look after their elderly neighbours.

Sam said: "We've been taking videos of our neighbours doing the course.

"It's been lovely to watch out of our window and see the smiles of the families that are taking part.

The Whitley family have drawn a chalk obstacle course to spread a bit of joy to their neighbours. Pictured is Sam Whitley, her husband Matthew and two children Macey and Mya.

"Everyone has taken part - we have watched grandmas, mums, dads, teenagers and toddler's have a go. It really has proved such a positive thing.

She added: "We live on a lovely close-knit street and we are all trying to keep each others spirits high.

"We have a couple of elderly people on our street and we are all helping each other out, with what we can.

"The elderly couples have shouted over to thank us for making them smile

The Whitley family have drawn a chalk obstacle course to spread a bit of joy to their neighbours. Pictured is Sam Whitley, her husband Matthew and two children Macey and Mya.

"We can't actually believe how well it's been received."

Sam, and her husband Matthew, 38, are thrilled with how well it has been received by neighbours and are "extremely proud" of Macey for coming up with the idea during these "strange times".

She said: "Macey is and always has been such a thoughtful girl. She is always thinking of others.

"We are extremely proud of her.

"It's amazing to see the joy she has brought to people in this difficult and strange time."