The Playing Out initiative was established by 2 parents from Bristol who were concerned about the lack of opportunities for their children to play out safely with friends. It enables residential streets to be closed to traffic for a few hours so that children in the neighbourhood can safely play out together.
A number of communities in Wolverhampton have come together to hold Playing Out activities over the last 3 years, and others are encouraged to do so in 2022.
Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The benefits of playing outside for children are well known, giving them the chance to enjoy valuable physical exercise, make friends, learn new skills and gain independence.
“Thanks to the Playing Out initiative, we are giving children the chance to do this safely, easily and close to home. And it's not just good for children; this initiative can bring whole communities together as they team up to organise Playing Out activities and give neighbours the chance to get to know one another better.
"Playing out will be particularly important in 2022 because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We know that it is safer to meet up with others outside so, as the weather improves, why not look to arrange a social gathering with friends and neighbours in your street or cul-de-sac, rather than indoors?"
To run a Playing Out activity, residents must apply to the council for a temporary street closure, lasting for between 1 and 3 hours. Making an application is quick and easy – please visit Let’s Play Out.
Councillor Momenabadi added: "We need at least 8 weeks' notice to get the necessary approvals in place to close a road, so if you would like to organise a Playing Out event over the Easter holidays, please get in touch as soon as possible."
For more details, please visit Yo! Wolverhampton Young Opportunities. People interested in running a Playing Out event on their street, but who aren’t sure where to start, are invited to contact Wolverhampton For Everyone via email@example.com for help and advice. There is also a free pack available providing ideas and inspiration.
Playing Out forms a key part of the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Yo! programme, which offers hundreds of events across the city, many free of charge, to keep children, young people and their families active and entertained throughout the school holidays.