AN in-house bingo game to keep boredom at bay during the first lockdown has raised thousands of pounds to help key workers and Birmingham’s homeless.
Solihull resident Jason Gosling and his wife Linda started the Bingo back in March on Facebook so that family and friends could come together through lockdown.
But what started out with just 12 players grew week on week to an average of more than 200.
“We were getting enough to start making donations, initially to local and independent charities,” said Jason, from Chelmsley Wood.
“From two local care homes, care packages for keyworkers, to big donations to the British Heart Foundation, The Lee Rigby Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Trust and the local NHS Trust as well as making up care packages for families, friends, and neighbours.”
As 2020 drew to a close, one of the players came up with the idea of helping Birmingham’s homeless.
“It was to be our last lockdown Bingo, ‘The Cause, Help The Homeless in Birmingham at Christmas’ and with that we opened a just giving page, and received massive donations from our Bingo players of over £2,300 – it was unbelievable,” said Jason, who works at JLR.
“So with that we teamed up with a Birmingham soup kitchen, and on December 22 went into the city centre to distribute key essentials for the homeless to survive on the streets at this time of year and beyond.
“It was a nice way to end the year.”
The problem for Jason and his wife Linda – who did the technical side of the Bingo – is that with this latest lockdown, people still want to carry on playing the Bingo.
“It’s just got bigger and bigger and people are texting me asking what we are going to be doing and when can we start up again, so we’ll see what we can do next,” said Jason.