Street Play: How can councils support it?
“This year’s trial has been a complete success and I expect the play street scheme to go from strength to strength. I urge roads/communities who have not yet given it a go to try one. Their children will be thanking them for the rest of the year as will other less visible members of their community. This is a win, win scheme, give it a try.” Cllr Tom Wye, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Adur and Worthing Councils.
Are you a council officer or elected member looking for a low-cost, resident-led way to get children physically active and strengthen communities? Join the growing number of councils supporting street play across the UK. This page connects you to what you need to know:
- Why street play?
- Six ways councils can support it
- The public health case
- FAQs for local authorities
- What we offer
- Newsletter for local authorities
- Three Useful Case Studies
The benefits of regular resident-led playing out sessions – both for children and whole street communities – align with the priorities of local authorities. This is a very simple, low-cost way to get children physically active, increase neighbourliness, and grow active citizenship. Most of the work is done by residents, with support from Playing Out and local organisations. The council simply needs to make it easy for people to get on with it. You can read more about impact and evidence here and the legal basis here.
- A simple application procedure
- A clear point of contact
- Road closure signs and other kit
- Publicity and promotion
- Signposting to Playing Out and other support.
- Strong, vocal political support
These are the essential elements for success. Some councils have also provided officer support or found pots of funding for local groups to give direct, peer-support to streets, which can make a huge difference to the number of streets able to benefit, especially in areas of higher need. We can advise on this, and have developed a useful toolkit for councils.
Playing Out grew out of the actions of parents in Bristol and is now growing a grassroots movement across the UK. Since 2009, we have been developing and testing the model of resident-led street play that is now spreading across the country. Through our work in Bristol – leading to over 150 streets playing out in the city by 2017 – as well as supporting residents and councils across the UK, we have a good understanding of what makes it work at a local level and want to support any interested local authorities to get it right. We can offer:
- Street play toolkit for local authorities
- Free resources and support for residents (including this website!)
- Help with publicity and promotion
- Workshops and Training – contact us for details
- Kit boxes and materials
- Newsletter and LinkedIn Street Play group for professionals (click on the links to sign up)
- Individual help: 0117 9537167 / email@example.com
- Expert advice from Bristol and other councils
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Adur and Worthing
The story of how a street play policy was implemented in Adur and Worthing. It includes very useful links to the officer’s report.