Imagine a world where children are free to play out with their friends every day, whether they live in a high-rise flat or a residential street. A world where children are happy, healthy and part of their communities.
This is the vision we have for ALL children, regardless of income, family circumstance, race, ethnicity, gender, ability or geography.
Our aim is for playing out near home to be a normal, everyday part of life for all children, as it once was. This means safer, less traffic-dominated streets and more connected communities. It means children having clear permission to play out in the spaces around their homes. It means no ‘No Ball Games’ signs. It means putting children first and protecting their right to play.
This is going to take a major shift in attitude, as well as in government policy. We’ll need to recognise the vital importance of play and freedom for children and to change the way we plan and design our streets, housing and cities. But we can also start to change things right now, in our own communities.
Play streets – or playing out sessions on estates – are one way to do this, creating the conditions children need in order to play out freely: safe space on their doorstep, community support and permission. Play streets might only be temporary but they can help to change things in a more permanent way.
Together, we CAN change things for children and restore their freedom to play out.