FIGURINES have popped-up in an Oxfordshire village to lift spirits during lockdown and honour the heroic people leaving their homes to look after others.

The idea of staging a village-wide salute to community heroes in Islip was suggested by Revd Lucy Thirtle of St Nicholas Church.

The first figures began to appear in the the centre of the village in early January.

Soon, the idea caught on and has now snowballed as villagers continue to make models of people they would like to thank.

Islip resident Johanna Stephenson helped to organise the display.

She said: "The idea grew from a conversation about how to reach out to people at the beginning of the latest lockdown, to help those isolated to be part of a community-wide effort that gave us all a sense of joining together while socially distanced.

"It is to thank all those who are putting the needs of others above their own safety and heroically looking after everyone, and to give us all something to smile about when many are really struggling."

New figures are now appearing almost every day - and some overnight - and children at the village primary school have been making little animals for the display as well.

Some figures are ‘portraits’ of people well known to villagers.

The local shop and the Parish Council funded banners designed by a resident graphic designer and people driving through the village have also joined in, waving, cheering, taking photos – and even contributing figures of their own.