A FAMILY has turned their passion for kart racing into a creative way to help the community during the coronavirus crisis.

The Potters, who live in Bowburn, near Durham, have been turning used tyres from their local race track into swans and decorative garden planters.

Dad David shapes the rubber and then his four children paint them.

The ornamental pieces are then either sold or donated to cheer people up during lockdown.

All of the children, Catherine, 12, Rebecca, ten, Thomas, eight, and Elizabeth, six, have been involved and their back garden has become something of a production line, tuning out around 150 swans.

Catherine, who goes to Belmont Community School, is already a champion kart racer, after she was introduced to sport on her tenth birthday, and brother Thomas is following in her footsteps.

David, 40, a driving instructor, who is marred to Emma, said: “To be competitive you need to change the tyres often so what we do is we take them off and do nice things with them, like make planters, to try and recover some of the cost of replacing the new ones.

“It was going quite well, but then racing came to standstill and we had quite a lot of time on our hands so we thought ‘let’s do something positive for the community’.

“We have been getting go kart tyres from the race tracks, putting them in trailer.

“I heat them up, cut them up and turn them inside out.

“We have been making them into swans and the kids have been painting them.

“We get flowers from a garden centre who have offered us them at a discount.

“We have been giving them to the houses of the elderly who are self-isolating.

“Then we thought we would give them to the care homes.”

The family has raised around £400 with their charitable enterprise and is using the money to buy materials for projects to cheer people up, such as hanging baskets.

One of their latest good deeds was bringing a bench back to life at Bowburn Care Centre.

Mr Potter said: “I was dropping off a swan and one of the staff had said the bench there was a mess because there was no-one there to look after it.

“The man who normally did it, Jim, was confined to his room so me and Catherine came back and painted it some funky colours and replanted the planter box.

“Then we gave the Jim a gift of a strawberry planter box so he could do it himself in his room.”

Word has spread and people from further afield have been in touch to get the family involved with their organisations.

Mr Potter said: “We did something for a children’s care centre. We did a lovely job for them. We have kitted them with brightly coloured tyres for disabled children so they could plant them themselves.

“We have sent some plain ones out to a care home in Consett where the residents wanted to make a memorial garden for the residents who have died from Covid-19.

“The residents there wanted to paint them up themselves to put them by the pond.”

To find out more about the family project click here