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Play Streets scheme encourages children to discover the joys of outdoor play

| June 27, 2023

Children skipping in a High Wycombe Street as part of the Play Streets scheme. (Image supplied by Buckinghamshire Council)

Children across Buckinghamshire are being given the opportunity to discover the joys of playing safely outside their homes as part of the Play Streets scheme.

The free scheme invites neighbours to apply for permission to close their road for a few hours at a time so that communities can come together and children can meet up and have fun outdoors.

Following the successful launch in 2022, particular focus is being placed on encouraging communities within the targeted areas outlined in the Buckinghamshire Council Opportunity Bucks programme, in High Wycombe, Aylesbury and Chesham, to take advantage of the scheme, but communities all across the county can take part.

Angela Macpherson, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Buckinghamshire Council, said: ‘I’m sure many of us can remember the simple pleasure of playing outside your house with your friends as a youngster. It’s a habit that has become less popular over time, for a variety of reasons, but the idea behind this scheme is to bring back some of that enjoyment and allow all generations of neighbours to spend some time together, boosting community spirit and togetherness.

Such activities have benefits for everyone’s physical and mental health and wellbeing and with summer here, there’s no better time to set up your own Play Streets initiative where you live.

It couldn’t be easier to take part. Residents can see if their street is suitable for a Play Streets session online and can find out more about the scheme on the national website. Support is available for those who want to apply for a licence which is provided for one year once granted, so residents can have multiple Play Street events if they wish.

Play Streets is a national scheme with initiatives taking place in many other areas across the UK. The scheme has proved popular, encouraging children to get active in the fresh air and also helping to tackle social isolation by connecting neighbours. The scheme first started in Bristol through the national organisation, Playing Out.

*Source of information : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.

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