Bishopston families find out more on reclaiming roads for play

April 01 2013
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Families in Bishopston took the first steps towards temporarily turning their streets into a play space by attending workshops to find out how

Bishopston families find out more on reclaiming roads for play

Families in Bishopston took the first steps towards temporarily turning their streets into a play space by attending workshops to find out how. Playing Out

Playing Out held the two sessions in March to give more information on applying to the council for temporary play street orders, where roads are closed to through traffic for a short period to allow children to play outside their homes.

Ellie Freeman, from Playing Out, said there was a good response to the two events, adding: “We are really pleased to see there are several streets with interested and motivated residents wanting to get playing out sessions started. We’re looking forward to hearing how things progress.

“We know there are also residents who didn’t get a chance to come along, so we hope they will get in touch. We are planning another workshop in May at the Bishopston, Cotham and Redland Neighbourhood Partnership community festival and are also available to talk to residents individually or groups of neighbours, maybe over a cup of tea.”

The workshops included a short film, discussions on parents’ and carers’ experiences of play as children and on improving relationships between neighbours in the streets, as well as details of how to apply for the traffic orders.

Ellie said: “We think there are several people across the area who will get something happening on their street, even if it’s a small action like chatting to neighbours or playing on the pavement. Hopefully we’ll see several streets playing out soon but we are also keen to hear about how residents are feeling about the ‘neighbourliness’ of their street as we feel this is an important ingredient of getting playing out going.”

Playing Out is a not-for-profit organisation set up by two Bristol mums who, after organising street parties and other events, saw the potential for closing streets purely for play, holding their first playing out day in 2009.

Ellie said: “Children get a chance to play on their doorstep, get to know neighbours of all ages and feel part of their local community.

“They also get a chance to play outside in a free, unstructured, active way that is in a safe environment but does not require close supervision, equipment etc. They learn about sharing toys, being responsible for each other and making sure they respect neighbours’ property. All sorts of games and friendships have emerged from playing out, and we hope we will see many more.”

To find out more about Playing Out visit http://playingout.net, email hello@playingout.net or call 0117 953 7167.