Not that many years ago children used to play with their friends and neighbours on their streets. Streets used to be much safer places, with far fewer cars around and more off-street parking. The lack of street play we see today is a shame – it means children don’t get to know their neighbours so well and they have less of a sense of belonging to their community. It also means that children often spend more time in front of a screen than outside playing. There are some people out to change this and they set up a scheme called Playing Out, in Bristol (see www.playingout.net).
It’s a two hour street closure, marshalled at each end, allowing the children to play safely on their street. Here in Abergavenny, residents of Windsor Road have followed the format and, so far, have run three Playing Out sessions. They have all been a great success, with children biking, scooting, playing football, rugby and chalking on the road. Residents have come out and met each other and there is a good sense of community and friendship.
For anyone who would like to run their own Playing Out session, have a look at the website. It tells you exactly what to do. More and more people over the country are running these sessions and there’s plenty of help and advice.
See www.playingout.net for instructions on how to run your own Playing Out.
If you are interested in setting one up in Abergavenny, you can join the Abergavenny Playing Out Facebook group.