Play streets

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Make it a success

So, you’ve got your team and your application process set up, maybe you’ve run a successful pilot with one or two streets.

Now you want play streets to take off in a big way and benefit diverse communities across your authority area. There are two main elements to making this happen:

Promoting play streets locally

So, how do you get your policy off the paper and happening in your area?

Councils have a specific role in getting the word out to parents and residents, so that they know about this opportunity and feel encouraged to do it.Example of play streets page from Leeds council

It’s important to remember that what motivates parents of young children is not the same as what motivates council officers. Also, that people tend to trust or listen to information that comes from peers or local grass roots organisations, more than from large institutions like councils. Therefore, we encourage you to think about how you can support others to promote this idea in a more organic way.

There is lots more information about this, and how to appeal to your target audience on our promoting play streets page.

The core elements of promotion for a council are:

Find out more about promoting play streets locally.

Supporting residents on the ground

Some residents will have the confidence, motivation and resources to just get on with it, as long as you have created the following conditions:

  • There is a simple, clear and encouraging application process from the council.
  • It’s free.
  • Signs and cones are provided.
  • They have a contact name and phone number for someone at the council who can help with any small enquiries.
  • Signpost to Playing Out – so they can access all our free resources and feel part of a national movement with peer support.

Additional support for communities facing disadvantage

Other residents will need more support and handholding. If additional resources aren’t put into a play street scheme to support them, it may only be the most confident and well-resourced streets who make it a success.

Parent and child playing out on housing estateAll children and communities need support and resources but especially those who are most disadvantaged. In areas where extra support has been provided on the ground, play streets have been really successful amongst all demographics. For case studies and guidance of how to do this, read our toolkit.

Sometimes some additional support is provided by the council, via a community focussed team, but often it’s provided by a partner community organisation or an activator, as in Bristol.

We have lots more detail on the types of support and who provides it on our supporting others to do play streets page.

Want to support communities facing disadvantage?

Read our toolkit