FAMILIES are coming together to create a safe, fun and memorable Halloween for children around Middlesbrough.

Covid-19 restrictions mean the usual parties and gatherings can't go ahead this year, but a spooky trail will ensure children can still experience a frighteningly good evening without knocking on doors.

Organisers are encouraging families to decorate their homes, windows and gardens and upload pictures to the Facebook group ‘Middlesbrough Halloween Trail'.

And to inspire some chilling competition, the most liked photo will win two return flights to anywhere in Europe, courtesy of Jet2.

The group also has links to downloadable scavenger hunts and lots of half-term craft ideas.

Newport resident Alisha Partland co-founded the group with Linthorpe councillor Philippa Storey.

Alisha said: "We have had such an amazing response since the group was created, showing how much community spirit we have in Middlesbrough.

"My daughter Tegan is looking forward to spotting spooky things on October 31 and I'm sure so many other children are excited too. I'd like to thank Jet2 for providing such a great prize in uncertain times. They've been amazing."

Cllr Storey said: "We needed something fun to look forward to, something that can be done safely and a Halloween trail was the perfect solution.

"The idea originated with The Big Neighbourhood Pumpkin Trail, set up by Art Venturers. We've had 1,000 members join the group in a couple of weeks, with streets from every area of Middlesbrough and further afield across Teesside sign up.

"The trail means residents can visit streets nearby. They can do this while socially distancing and still have fun. This year has been awful and we felt children had missed out enough and wondered what we could do so that they could still have fun at Halloween.

"We have been very privileged and received support from residents and councillors across Middlesbrough."

Cllr Mieka Smiles, Executive Member for Communities and Education, said: "Halloween has become part of the year that we as a family really look forward to - and I know lots of other Middlesbrough families feel the same.

"Alisha and Cllr Storey have worked really hard on this project to make sure that Middlesbrough children have something to look forward to and that can be enjoyed in a safe way.

"It's not too late to join in the fun! Decorate your house, register your road and let's make Middlesbrough really spooktacular."

Cllr Storey and Cllr Naveed Hussain are organising the Linthorpe Halloween Trail as part of the town-wide trail.

Elsewhere, Cllr Jeanette Walker is organising the Hemlington Neighbourhood Pumpkin Week with online competitions.

And Cllr Chris Cooke is organising Newport Halloween competitions with support from Streets Ahead, Safer Communities and the Linx Youth Project.

The Department of Health and Social Care is reminding people in ‘high' alert level areas such as Middlesbrough of the following advice relating to Halloween:

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