London,
24
January
2014
|
12:45
Europe/London

Apply to hold a Play Street in Hackney this summer

Hackney+Today

Hackney Council is gearing up for its busiest year of Play Streets yet – and is encouraging neighbours who are interested in organising one this summer to apply before 1 April.

Hackney was the first London borough to introduce Play Streets, which allow neighbours to temporarily close their road to through traffic, allowing children to play and adults to get together with their neighbours.

During a one year trial in 2012/13, more than 2,000 children took part in a Play Streets session and 13 streets are now signed up to hold regular events, but Hackney Council and charity Hackney Play Association are hoping plenty more will join in this year.

Play Streets have proved really popular with both children, who love spending time playing outside their homes and making new friends, but also adults, who get to know their neighbours. It really boosts community spirit.

There are health benefits too, which is why our public health team are proving funding to expand the scheme to schools and estates.
Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Hackney Council

The Council recently confirmed that it will be funding Hackney Play Association to develop a network of ‘play champions’ to help children play outside. They will be supporting residents to establish Play Streets and Play Estates, and will also work with schools to run after-school Play Street sessions. The organisation runs workshops and offers ongoing support for people interested in starting a Play Street in Hackney, providing equipment and sharing practical tips and advice.

In order to apply for a Play Street residents should consult their neighbours. In some streets residents have held an informal meeting to discuss the idea. Once they've gained support - in the form of a list of names and addresses - they can complete an application form.

The Council will complete the process for you. Residents then just need to find volunteers to ensure the events are properly stewarded, so that  those who need to access their homes in a vehicle can be safely guided through at walking speed.

Local organisers are running a drop-in session for people interested in running a Play Street, or for those about to run their first session, at the Ivy Street Family Centre, 54 Ivy Street, Hoxton, N1 5JE from 9.45-11am on 11 March. Children and babies welcome. For more information contact Claudia Draper: hackney@playingout.net or 07947 095 069.

Apply to hold a one or regular Play Street.