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News from the Playing Out Movement

posted this in Playing Out Movement on 29/06/2018

Welcome to our summer newsletter! We hope you’ll find something to inspire you.

Playing Out is supporting a growing number of parents, residents, councils and others around the UK who want children to play out and be part of their communities. Together we are part of a wider growing national and international movement for children’s right to freedom. Please join us.


Eight new councils support street play

Since our last newsletter, there’s been great news from Edinburgh. After years of tireless campaigning from residents in the Edinburgh Playing Out group and a hard-to-say-no-to pitch from Bernie age 7 (that brought a tear to the eye of at least one councillor), Edinburgh Council is the first in Scotland to adopt a street play policy.

The north-east is a hot bed of street play activity, with both Hull (watch this short Film) and Newcastle launching city-wide policies and North East Lincolnshire running a pilot scheme. Amongst the many brilliant parent/resident activists ‘up North’, Dani in East Yorkshire has set up Larkin Out – a great social media campaign for children’s freedom to just “lark out”.

Further south, Nottingham City Council has teamed up with a whole host of partners, including Playing Out and PlayWorks, to run Nottingham Playing Out, saying, “Let’s bring the tradition of street play back to Nottingham”. In sunny Guildford, the council’s support for street play prompted local journalists to share their own street play memories. The London Borough of Redbridge, Liverpool City Council and Sandwell in the West Midlands are also all piloting playing out this year.

A global movement

Playing Out in Bilbao, Spain

Interest and enthusiasm for resident and parent led street play is spreading across the world!  Over the past six months we’ve shared our model and approach with resident activators and organisations in Portugal, Spain, the US, Egypt, Australia, Canada, Germany and France. In the US there are now temporary street play schemes in several cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Portland.

High-rise estates

The Playing Out model was first developed on terraced streets where traffic was the main problem. However, there are other reasons why children don’t play out as much as they used to, even where there is safe space on the doorstep. Read more about how we have been supporting residents in tower blocks across Bristol to reclaim their outside spaces for play and community.

Need a kick-start to play out?

Try using these (somewhat random) dates as an excuse to get together with your neighbours. Or make up your own!

  • 20th July: International Day of  Friendship
  • 1st August: Play Day
  • 14th August: Afternoon Tea Day
  • 13th September: Roald Dahl day
  • 28th September: World’s biggest coffee morning
  • 20th November: International Children’s Day and Road safety week.

If you watch one thing this month....

Watch this short film: Community spirit helps girl with autism

When making the short film that went viral last November, #BBCWorldHacks journalist Dougal Shaw was so inspired by meeting one girl, he made a follow-up film. Bristol City Council now want to promote ‘playing out’ to parents as a way of helping children with autism and other special needs to get the chance to play freely with others near home.

Blogs you may have missed...

Defending children's right to play
My street still rocks
Playing out and growing up; the benefits of freedom
Why can't children just go to the park?
Bringing the street play movement to Hull

News from the Playing Out Team.

This month we say goodbye and a huge thanks to George who has been holding all our admin together for the past three years. She is off to start a Shiatsu practice. Bristol activator extraordinaire Jo has got herself a ‘proper job’ at Speedwell Children’s Centre, putting her chalking, skipping and general sense of fun to good use. Happily for us, both want to keep promoting Playing Out in Bristol, and of course they are always part of the bigger network…

And it’s hello to Gemma who is leading our new social media project over the next 10 months, looking at how we can best use social media to grow the street play movement. Keep an eye out for our Instagram feed in the coming months and use the hashtag #playingout to link with us.

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