London Play Streets
London Play is working with residents in 12 boroughs to activate play on their streets - with the aim of inspiring nothing short of a London Play Street revolution.
London Play has been hard at work convincing councils to make it easy for residents to get play happening on their streets. Around two thirds of London's 32 boroughs are now inviting people to apply for their street to become a play street, for free.
Now our focus is switching to encouraging people to take advantage of the opportunity. Nearly £350K from the Big Lottery's Reaching Communities programme will give London Play the additional capacity needed to target intensive support directly at residents, in some of the capital's least affluent areas and where the benefits will be more keenly felt.
London Play’s Play Street Advocacy Workers Catherine Togut and Fiona Sutherland will identify target neighbourhoods and willing residents within them, and then provide the support, guidance and training needed to enable them to become play street advocates in their own communities. They will gain confidence, skills and experience in the process, going on to inspire and recruit other residents to launch play streets in their areas and multiplying the impact of their work.
The project will focus on 12 London boroughs where the demand for support is greatest - Haringey, Enfield, Waltham Forest, Hammersmith and Fulham, Southwark, Islington, Greenwich, Camden, Croydon, Newham, Hounslow and Brent. A ‘strategic play street board’ will be convened in each borough, drawn from council and other local organisations to support the fledgling play street advocates.
Other elements of the project include:
- A new Play Street of the Year award has been launched alongside the annual London Adventure Play Awards.
- The first four 'London Play Starters' have been recruited - new to play work they are learning the ropes on adventure playgrounds and in play streets across the capital. You can read about their adventures on this blog
- Finally, to add that special and unique flavour to each street’s event, there is a pot to fund special on street activities which will show what can be achieved and inspire others to reimagine their streets as places for communities, not just cars.