Playing Out is a national parent and resident-led movement restoring children’s freedom to play out in the streets and spaces where they live, for their health, happiness and sense of belonging.
A growing movement…
Over 800 street communities have now held regular street play sessions in 77 different areas across the UK. That’s 24,000 children regularly playing out and 12,000 adults taking action! New places to start include Manchester, East Renfrewshire and North Somerset. Meanwhile, resident ‘activators’ in Darlington, Suffolk, Berkshire and St Albans are all campaigning to get their councils to put street play policies in place. And in Hull, North Tyneside, Liverpool, and Worthing, resident groups have worked together to get more streets involved. Want to start this on your street? Or could you be a street play Activator? See our Activator Day info below.
Councils are changing…
57 Councils around the UK now have street play policies in place so they can support communities and children to play out because they can see the benefits. See our helpful web pages here. It’s been brilliant to see interest from many new local authorities ranging from the intensely urban to the rural. A shout out to the latest recruits: Sandwell, Cheshire West and Chester, Chester East, Elmbridge, Kirklees, Hinkley and Bosworth, Royal Borough of Kingston, Stafford Borough Council, Rugby, Westminster, Redbridge, and South Gloucestershire. See here for a complete list of active councils.
Essential Street Play Training Day
In November, hosted by University of Bristol, we ran our first ever national training day for local authorities and organisations. Thirty delegates from all over the UK came to Bristol to find out more about how to support street play. It was great that Brian Foxton of Hackney Council Highways came to share his experience and enthusiasm. They left equipped with ideas, information and inspiration, as well as an offer of on-going support from us ☺. We hope to run more of these days next year, so sign up to our newsletter for professionals to keep posted.
Justyne Sanderson, Play Development Support Worker in Cardiff said, “It was a great source of valuable information, really interesting and enlightening speakers”
Community organisations support street play
Grapevine in Coventry and Maldon and District Voluntary Service in Essex are just two of the community organisations supporting local residents to start playing out. Over the next year, we aim to spread this model as a way to reach communities where more support is needed. Sign up to our newsletter for professionals to keep in touch
Activator Day – Save the Date!
Are you interested in taking street play beyond your street, supporting others – to play out – or have you been campaigning to get your local authority on board? For a day of street play inspiration and to meet like-minded people from all over the UK, come to our activator day on the 30th March in central Birmingham. We are asking £10 to cover lunch and refreshments but if this or travel costs are a barrier, get in touch and we can help.
Playing Out on all continents (except Antartica!)
The resident-led street play idea has continued to spread around the world with initiatives now developing from Australia to Turkey, inspired by the work of parents in the UK. A parent-led Romanian Playing Out initiative has just been nominated for a European Mobility Award! More on this in 2019…
Playing Out on Social Media
@playingoutcic is newly on Instagram! Please follow us and say hello. Use #playingout to share your photos and we will find you.
We are also @playingout on Facebook and Twitter. You can also join the 1500 strong Playing Out group on Facebook to connect with other street play activists, ask questions and share your experiences.
Children’s Commissioner supports children’s right to play out
In September the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, published a new report called ‘Playing Out’. It outlined the physical, social and emotional benefits of playing out and made a strong case for increased government support for outdoor play generally including street play, echoing many of the arguments we and others have been making for years. Read more here and we’ll keep you posted on how we want this to translate into change.
It’s been a summer of collaboration…. We’re starting to work with Sustrans School Streets, Play Wales and Play Scotland to support Playing Out to spread in different ways, languages and areas. We worked with Brake on the launch of Road Safety Week in November. Playing Out’s Director, Alice Ferguson was invited to take part in a panel on child friendly cities at the autumn Green Party conference. Let us know if you have any partnership or event ideas.
We hope you have a good, restful Christmas break. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or drop us a line in the new year, we’re here to help.