January 2017 News

posted this in Children's play, health and wellbeing on 11/01/2017

Welcome to Daniella and a new phase for Playing Out

A warm welcome to Daniella Radice who has just joined the Playing Out team as a project manager. Daniella Radice photoDaniella’s role is to grow the street play movement nationally, enabling residents to get children playing out in towns and cities across the country. Her work has been funded by the Esmee Fairburn Foundation, a leading grant-giving body in the UK, and this funding will enable her to work in a more proactive way than our resources have so far allowed us to do.

Daniella is getting up to speed with the background and current spread of the playing out ‘model’ and says, “I’m very excited to be in this role. It builds on my experience as an environmental advisor, and for the past three years a Green Party councillor in Bristol.

“I am looking forward to working with existing activators and residents as well as enthusing lots of new people to join our movement. I will be working with local authorities to help them make street play possible in their areas, and am keen to talk to any particularly helpful council officers that you might know. I would also love to talk to you about your experiences, and hear your ideas.”

If you’d like to get in touch you can email Daniella – [email protected] or ring her on 0117 9537167.

Playing Out Survey: thank you for sharing your experience

Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey we launched in November to find out the experiences of people across the UK doing street play. It’s the first time we’ve gathered survey information in this way and it was great to have such a good response. In all 185 people responded and shared their views and it’s helping us to get a better idea about the impact street play is having. We’ll share the detailed findings when we’ve had longer to analyse the results but here are some responses ….

  • 60% of people say that doing playing out on their street has led to neighbours joining together for other social activities.
  • 81% of respondents say that children have learnt to interact well with children of different ages during playing out sessions.
  • 84% of people know more people on their street through doing playing out
  • 76% say their street feels a friendlier, safer place to live.

And here’s what people have said about the benefits they’ve felt.

“If it hadn’t been for Playing Out, we would not have realised that we can use the outdoor space on our doorstep as it is so ingrained that the roads are just for cars.”

“I feel more empowered to make positive change in my community and feel l can positively impact the street where I live. I feel a greater sense of ownership of my street.”

Building up this kind of evidence and experience will help us show policy-makers, councils and others just how much positive impact playing out is having. Thanks again for sparing the time to take part.

Sussex Street Play Takes Off

Lewes in East Sussex is the latest local authority to get behind street play and allow residents to organise regular playing out sessions.Chalk-close-up After running a trial street play policy in a limited area over the summer, the elected cabinet decided in September to roll this policy out throughout their council area. BBC Radio Sussex covered the story, with Lewes residents voicing their support for the idea of using their street for play. You can read more about the Lewes District Council street play policy on their website. 

Friends of the Earth campaign guide: making the link between street play and sustainable living

Friends of the Earth recently launched a major campaign focusing on clean air, pushing for changes to combat the damage being done by air pollution. As part of this they’ve published a guide for local groups with tips and ideas boy-girl-crossing5about how to raise awareness of the problem and suggestions for ways to take positive action to reduce pollution levels and demonstrate sustainable ways to use streets and public spaces. Playing out is one of the ideas they’ve included and it’s great they’re helping to spread awareness through their network of supporters. You can download their campaign guide and find out more.

Spreading The Word

Bristol’s BCFM radio station has covered the playing out idea on two recent shows. An interview on the One Love Breakfast show gave us the chance to talk about how playing out sessions work on streets across the city and the positive benefits for children and adults. And activator Kate Staniforth was interviewed on the Backchat programme which is broadcast by BCFM and to radio stations in Hertfordshire, Reading, Sheffield, Birmingham, Somerset, Devon, Hull, Lincoln and Cumbria.

Activators’ news

Hertfordshire playing out supporters had a busy November running information sessions on street play as part of Sustainable St Alban’s Week . They, like Friends of the Earth, were making the link between street play and longer-term sustainable living ideas and had the chance to talk to new residents about making their streets places for play.

Blogs you might have missed …

Here are links to the blogs we’ve published over the last few months;

July – Changing a Space – Bristol activator Kate Staniforth on how playing out led to some wider changes in attitude and use of the space in her street.Little Book of Playing Out photo

Sept – The Little Book of Playing Out – an inspiring collection by two Bristol playing out activators of skipping rhymes, recipes and ideas for sustaining playing out sessions over time – and keeping a sense of fun and enjoyment along the way.

Dec – A Restorative Approach to Road Sharing – an account of how a pilot project in Bristol sought to bring together different people and perspectives to talk about the often fraught issue of sharing road space.

IMG_0548Thanks to Cosy 

Cosy sponsored street photoA big thank you to Cosy – a company supplying well-designed and sustainably-produced children’s toys and resources – for sponsoring some playing out kit boxes. Cosy’s help with covering the costs of our kit boxes means we are able to support more residents across the UK. Some Cosy boxes are already in use on streets where children have enjoyed skipping, chalking, scooting … and scaring their neighbours as ghosts!

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