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Activator Day
28th March 2020

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Playing Out in winter: building community

posted this in Community, Neighbourliness, Playing Out on 10/01/2020

“I love Marie’s street. It’s so wide and they even have a speed bump!” – happy child after visiting a nearby playing out session.

We were excited to come back after our Christmas break and hear about the communities who’ve been taking advantage of the quiet streets and free time to get together and play out over the holidays.

Playing out sessions happened in Weston Super Mare, Hull, Tameside (Manchester), Liverpool and Gloucestershire, including one on Christmas Day itself!

And that’s just the ones we’ve heard about.

What a wonderful way to celebrate and connect with neighbours, not to mention burn off the excess excitement and mince pies …

 

Lynsey in Tameside organised her first ever Playing Out session on Christmas Day! She said:

It was amazing. We talked and drank tea/Prosecco(!), ate freshly made onion bhajis from one lovely neighbour – and mince pies – and got to know each other!

Emma, one of the parent-activators behind Hull Playing Out, said:

Hull Playing Out spent the weekend visiting two other play streets and I have just asked the boys what they loved best. I thought they would say the cool Segways some kids brought out on Saturday or the huge box of endless crisps a neighbour brought out today but it wasn’t, it was…

“Mum I can’t wait to play with Joe and Caleb again they are such cool friends!”
(They hadn’t met until yesterday!)
and “I love Marie’s street. It’s so wide and they even have a speed bump!”

The verdict; other kids and space is all they need, even if it’s a stretch of concrete. Close your street now. We haven’t spent a penny this weekend and the kids have had hours of fun!

Weston-Super-Mare hosted its first ever play street session a few days after Christmas, a brave time of year to start out, and it was a great success.

Kira Thorpe who works in Public Health for North Somerset Council was there helping out:

It was incredibly humbling to be part of the first Playing Out session in Weston-Super-Mare over the Christmas break. The feeling of freedom when the road closure signs were put in place was quite surreal: ‘What, no cars coming down the road? This can’t be right!’

It was obvious from the outset that this street was made for a Playing Out session – the residents who made it happen with a little help from the North Somerset Council were so passionate and willing to make sure the session went well. The organisers really hope they can do it again in the spring.

Stewards getting ready to re-open the street at the end of the session in Weston-Super-Mare

Why not make 2020 your year to start playing out where you live?

If you need an excuse (you don’t!), the wonderful people at Hull Playing Out and Larkin Out are calling for streets everywhere to play out on Sunday 2nd February to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.

 

If your council doesn’t have a street play policy yet, or you need some help, get in touch with us here at Playing Out for help!

Do you want to help spread the joy of Playing Out beyond your own street?

Come to our 7th annual Activator Day in Bristol on 28th March – booking details to follow, or express your interest by emailing lucy@playingout.net.

We also have a training day for councils coming up in February, more details here.

 

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