CHILDREN playing out in the street will become a common sight this summer, if one charity has its way.
In October, Campbell Road in Cowley became the first place in Oxford to benefit from the Playing Out project.
The scheme helps residents organise temporary residential road closures for children to play outside after school.
Dozens of children spent hours in October juggling, painting on the road with chalk, getting wet under a sprinkler and meeting neighbours.
Resident Hugh Warwick, 45, told the Oxford Mail at the time: “It’s great, it’s getting the kids out and making the street what it should be – a place to play in, not just a place to park on.”
Now the Bristol-based organisers are hoping more streets will take up their offer of help in the coming weeks.
A series of workshops is being planned to help residents get involved.
Playing Out co-founder Alice Ferguson said: “Children and families in Campbell Road had a wonderful time playing freely on their street last autumn and we know many other parents and carers in Oxford are interested in the idea of street play.
“Playing out in the street was a common experience for previous generations but few of today’s children get this chance and parents worry about letting their children play out.”
Only a handful of other Oxford residents have come forward to organise their own events since.
Each workshop includes advice on consulting with neighbours, how to obtain a temporary road closure from the council and information on how to publicise and steward the event.
Ms Ferguson said: “Organising a Playing Out session is really straightforward. In addition we will be on hand to give individual support to anyone keen to get started on their street.”
The project was started in 2010 by Ms Ferguson and her neighbour Amy Rose.
It led to Bristol City Council launching a ‘temporary play street order’ to allow streets to open for play once a week.
Workshops take place on Saturday, January 21, at Donnington Doorstep Children’s Centre from 11am-1pm, and All Saints Hall, New High Street, Headington, from 3-5pm. A third workshop is on Friday, February 10, at Marston Northway Children’s Centre, from 1.15pm-2.45pm. For more information or to join a workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 07896 957141 or visit playingout.net