Children on three Birmingham roads will be reclaiming the streets for ‘playing out’ to celebrate this year's National Play Day theme of ‘Playful Places’ on Wednesday 7 August.
Albert Road, Woodville Road and part of Goldsmith Road in Kings Heath will be temporarily closed to through traffic for a few hours during the afternoon to allow local children to play out safely in the street.
Children's play activities will be provided by the Parks for Play team, there will be music-making for parents and children led by Music Shakers and Kings Heath Library will be putting on story reading sessions.
The Playing Out initiative was started in Bristol in 2009 by two mothers who were keen to give their children a taste of the simple freedom of playing in the street that they had enjoyed when they were growing up. Four years on, the Playing Out initiative has expanded in Bristol to over 30 streets and is being replicated in other towns and cities across the country.
The Playing Out sessions in Kings Heath on 7th August have been organised by a group of local residents, community groups and organisations with an interest in children's play.
John Hill-Daniel, coordinator of the Moseley and Kings Heath Playing Out Group, said: “Playing Out is about giving children the chance to play safely near home, but also about making the streets generally safer and friendlier for everyone. We hope that residents without young children will also enjoy having the street free of traffic and will come out and join us.
“We want the Playing Out sessions on 7th August to be the start of something much more sustainable. Our ambition is to have street play sessions happening across the city on a regular basis and for the city council to adopt supportive policies to enable residents to organise street play easily and with minimal cost.”
Laura Watts, development director of Dens of Equality, said: “Play is an essential part of every child's life and is vital to their emotional and physical development. Research shows that, through play, children learn about themselves and the world around them, develop confidence, self-esteem and creativity.”
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member Social Cohesion and Equalities, Birmingham City Council said: “Birmingham Social Inclusion Process highlighted the importance of children and young people having the space and opportunity to play.
“Playing Out is an excellent example of how residents and voluntary organisations are working together with the Council to provide exciting opportunities for young people.
We are hoping that this will be a successful trial run that other neighbourhoods will be looking to repeat, enabling youngsters from across Birmingham to enjoy the experience of Playing Out safely.”
Notes for editors:
The Playing Out sessions will run from 12 noon till 4.00 pm in Albert Road and Goldsmith Road and from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm in Woodville Road, all in Kings Heath.
Photo call details - children's activities will be taking place in each street as follows:
Play for Parks from 12 noon to 4.00 pm
Story reading 12 noon to 12.45 pm
Music Shakers 1.00 pm to 2.15 pm
Play for Parks from 12 noon to 4.00 pm
Music Shakers from 12 noon to 12.45 pm
Story reading 1.00 pm to 1.45 pm
Play for Parks 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm
Story reading 2.00 pm to 2.45 pm
Music Shakers 2.45 pm to 4.00 pm
John Hill-Daniel is coordinating Playing Out as part of his role as a “Space Explorer” in Kings Heath and Moseley. His aim is to interest, intrigue and engage people in the potential and possibilities of the spaces around them. The project website is www.khcse.org
Playday is the national day for play in the UK. The campaign is coordinated by Play England, PlayBoard Northern Ireland, Play Scotland and Play Wales. On Playday and throughout the summer of 2013, children, young people and communities will get out and play at hundreds of locally organised events across the UK. For more information go to www.playday.org.uk
For more information about Playing Out nationally, go to www.playingout.net
For further information on this release or on Playing Out locally, contact Sue Smith, senior partnership officer, Birmingham City Council Challenge Unit on 0121 675 3624