We’ve got important news to share about our involvement in a major partnership being announced today to reactivate street play right across the country.
Together with Play England, a national charity campaigning for children’s right to play, London Play who focus on play provision in the capital, and University of Bristol, who will evaluate the health impact of the project, Playing Out is part of a three-year Department of Health funded project to get children playing out regularly, including in areas of deprivation.
What Is the Street Play Project?
The Street Play project will encourage all local authorities to launch positive policies towards street play, raise public awareness of the benefits and enable residents to make it a regular feature of their community life.
Public health minister Anna Soubry formally announced the funding and outlined the project this morning and you may see coverage in the national media.
We are at the start of this project with the other partners but will be sharing progress and achievements as we get underway so do stay in touch with us via our website, Facebook, Twitter, by phone and in person!
What Does it Mean for Residents and Playing Out?
Playing Out will continue to support residents in the way we are doing now – through providing resources and materials, guiding people on how to build support in their neighbourhood and creating ways for people to share their ideas and experiences. The funding we receive will enable us to do this nationally, based on the on-the-ground work we began four years ago in Bristol and which is still core to what we do.
This is a great opportunity for us to be properly resourced to do this, having spent several years devoting our time and energy on a partly voluntary basis. We hope this will be a real turning point, resulting in a culture-shift towards ‘playing out’ in streets and public spaces once again becoming a normal and accepted part of life for children across the country.
Alice Ferguson, co-founding Director of Playing Out says:
“If children are to get the daily physical activity they need, they must be able to play right outside their own front door. Our role in this project will be to support residents, particularly in deprived areas, to make this a reality in their own streets. Anyone interested can contact us for help and advice and to join the national street play network.”
This news story was subsequently covered on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme (sorry but no link available to listen again). In addition there was coverage on Sky News and in The Guardian. The Guardian coverage talked about the “revival of hopscotch and hide and seek in the streets”, but not the benefits of a lasting culture change towards greater acceptance of street play. Plenty of time to get that message across!)