PEOPLE living in a Swindon street have introduced their own traffic light system to help each other through the pandemic – and it all started with a dream.

Joanna Heaven, of Dunsford Close, said: “I don’t want to sound like Martin Luther King Jnr but I did have a dream.”

In it she saw a red, yellow and green warning system to indicate to neighbours whether everything was OK.

“When I woke up I felt that I couldn’t ignore it and so I got my neighbours together on my driveway, of course they were at a distance, and I told them about it.”

Everyone in the street was eager to be involved and after some discussion decided to use the colours red, amber and green to indicate that they either needed help, were in self-isolation or they were perfectly fine.

Jo said: “Around 50 per cent of the houses came along to hear about it but now it seems all of them are involved.

“It’s quite simple, they can just put a coloured piece of card or cloth in their window. Then when people are walking up and down the streets they can check the windows to see who needs help.

“If people just keep an eye on five houses they live by then we can make sure people are safe and happy.”

If someone is on red then the person who spots it will knock on their door to see what they need. It could be extra food, toiletries or maybe just someone to talk to.

Jo has also donated books to youngsters who are being home schooled. Others have given away bikes to the children. “It’s brilliant getting to walk down the street and seeing all these green circles in the window,” she said. “It’s nice to know people are okay and that neighbours are looking out for one another.”

Jo has seen the community coming closer and wants her initiative to spread across Swindon because she sees people are talking to each other more - at a safe distance - and wanting to support one another.

It has created a warmer atmosphere in the street and Jo has received positive feedback from those involved.

She said: “It would be amazing if this could become a national thing, having your neighbours look after each other.”

Once the lockdown is over and the virus has been beaten the neighbours hope to hold a big celebration.