LATEST NEWS: Play Streets Partnership with Brightkidz

POSTED ON - 29 Jun 2021

Announcing Brightkidz Play Streets Partnership with Playing Out CIC

Giving children the opportunity to play out safely in their own neighbourhoods away from traffic is even more important as we come out of lockdown. 

Play streets are a way to do this officially and are something residents can organise in their own street.  These short, temporary road closures, usually organised by residents on their own street or estate, are being promoted by national organisation Playing Out - to help children of all ages access the space, time, and freedom to play outside this summer.

Here at Brightwayz (which encompasses Brightkidz) we are thrilled to announced our new partnership with Playing Out CIC to support the implementation and promotion of these. This includes supplying Play Street packs with all the information, leaflets, equipment (and even a giant skipping rope!) to help get a play street started.

Our focus is on inspiring safe, active, sustainable travel for everyone and we recognise that healthy streets are essential if children are to feel safe playing outside. Outside is also where children learn to ride their bikes outside and playing is not just fun and good for wellbeing, it is also a wonderful form of exercise. That is why it is such a privilege for us to be supporting and working with Playing Out.

Ingrid Skeels, Co-Director at Playing Out, added: “Play Streets are all about providing children with a safe space to play together on their doorstep and for neighbours of all ages to come together. 

“We are delighted that Brightkidz is now partnering with us to provide the kit communities need to safely close their streets to traffic. Together, we are asking councils to join the movement and make it as easy as possible for residents to organise their own play street sessions.”

Leeds City Council, Norfolk County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and London Borough of Merton are just four of the 80 plus councils that have already pledged their support.

To support Playing Out and to make it as easy as possible for councils to support residents with their own Play Streets, we are now supplying Play Streets starter packs which can be ordered online or with local authority purchase orders from our Brightkidz website. Each pack, on sale for £66.50 ex vat, includes information, chalk, skipping ropes, posters, wheelie bin stickers, stewards’ high vis, and bag. Ten percent will go straight to Playing Out to help fund their vital work, while the remaining income comes back to us, to enable our social enterprise to continue promoting active travel and supporting communities country-wide.

Ingrid added: “It is not surprising that we have seen unprecedented increases in children’s mental health problems and loneliness, alongside reduced physical activity. Play will be central to children’s recovery as we emerge from covid which is why we are calling on everyone to help make this summer a #SummerOfPlay for children across the UK.”

This wider #SummerOfPlay campaign is supported not just by Playing Out, but also by other national organisations including Save the Children, Play England, Play Scotland, Play Wales, PlayBoard NI and playfirstuk. 

In addition to seeking support from councils, together we Playing Out we are appealing for individuals and organisations to get involved with the wider campaign. Make a pledge of support for #SummerOfPlay: www.summerofplay.co.uk/pledge

Brightkidz Playing Out Play Streets starter packs and other products such as signage to support play streets: www.brightkidz.co.uk/playingoutshop

Meanwhile here is how councils can get involved:

How councils can get involved with Play Streets

  • Implement a play street policy to get started. In the meantime, allow one-off play street sessions using your street party policy.
  • Promote play streets locally and support residents to easily and quickly apply for temporary road closures this summer.
  • Provide road closure signs and any supporting kit through us here at Brightkidz.
  • Provide a clear point of contact at the council and signpost residents to www.playingout.net for more information, support, and resources.
  • See 2019 play street government guidance for councils in England here

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