Nottingham City Council is launching the Playing Out initiative to get the community, parents, children and young people to come together and get active and have a day playing out in the street.

Roads that take part in the sessions will be safely closed by volunteer marshals so children can play in complete safety. Playing out in the street will give the children a chance to play energetically by scooting, playing tag, cycling, skating and more. One mum described a playing out session as children “getting exercise without noticing.” One of the first events is taking place in Lees Hill Street in Sneinton, Thursday 15 June.

Evidence shows how few children get the physical activity they need to stay fit and healthy. Children aged between five and 18 need an hour each day of what health professionals call ‘moderate to vigorous physical activity.’ But in children aged between five and 15, only 16% of girls and 21% of boys actually get that much.

If residents are keen to run a Playing Out session they simply need to get in touch with their Neighbourhood Development Officer:  who  will help with the application to get a temporary road closure to traffic, and support with the forms and organisation.

Councillor David Trimble, Portfolio holder for Leisure and Culture said: “This is an excellent way to engage the community and let the children have a fun day in controlled conditions. Supporting residents across the city to make their streets safe and acceptable places for play helps children to have a healthy, active lifestyle.”

Alice Ferguson, Director of Playing Out, said: “Being able to play out safely on your own street has massive benefits for children’s well-being and their sense of belonging in their community. We started this project as parents on one street in Bristol and over 130 streets across the city have now ‘played out.’ We hope it is equally successful in Nottingham, bringing communities together and giving children the simple freedom to play outside their own front door.”

Playing Out is a not-for-profit national organisation providing free resources and advice for residents about enabling street play. As well as instructional videos and a step-by-step ‘manual for organisers,’ people can download template posters and other materials or contact Playing Out directly for advice.