Leeds Play Network was part of a Department of Health funded project to encourage more street play across the country. We worked in partnership with Leeds City Council to make it easier for Leeds residents to close their streets to through traffic and open them up for play. Although the funding for this project has ended we are still keen to support street play activity in Leeds as it offers so many benefits to children and their families. Street play allows children to reap the physical, social, emotional and mental health benefits offered by outdoor play whilst at the same time making them a visible part of the wider community. Residents who have made street play a regular feature of their neighbourhood have reported an increase in community cohesion as people gather to organise and deliver the sessions.
Leeds residents and organisations can apply to Leeds City Council for a ‘ Temporary Play Street Order’ which closes the road to through traffic. Everyone who lives on the street can still have vehicle access in and out of the street but this is supervised and managed by adults to ensure the safety of children who are playing out on the street.
For anyone interested in starting a play street the first step in the process is to chat to your neighbours to see what they think about the idea. Door-knocking, a leaflet drop or holding a residents meeting are some of the ways you can spread the word to give everyone the opportunity to find out more, give their opinion and get involved. Play streets are resident led and volunteers from the street typically steward the road closure by standing close to each road closure point. This allows them to talk to drivers to re-direct them and escort residents in and out of the street at 5mph.
When you have consulted everyone on the street and received positive feedback and support from your neighbours to help to run the sessions, you can apply to the council. The dates and times of the sessions are up to the residents and must be decided before you make your application.
We are here to help you, we can offer advice via email or telephone please get in touch with Cheryl Woods – Play Projects Co-ordinator:
Telephone: 0113 2495920 or email through our Contact us page.
If you would like to find out more about the National Street Play project visit Play England.
For downloadable free resources and lots of information around reactivating street play visit Playing Out Playing Out is a not-for-profit organisation set up by parents to activate street play across the UK.