Close roads so children can play in the street like their parents did, say public health experts – Telegraph.co.uk

Parents who have established schemes in their area say it has completely changed communities.

Alison Stenning, a mother and ‘Playing Out’ organiser from North Tyneside said: “The kids all know each other now, across different ages and regardless of the school they go to. Some of the older kids now babysit for the younger ones

“Lots of them have learnt to ride their bikes or scooters during playing out sessions. Older kids have taught younger kids to skip, blow bubbles, play hopscotch.

“The adults play too with their own and other kids. I bought a scooter of my own for street play. We all know each other much better than we did before. We chat to each other in the street, on the school run etc. Lots of us have been to each other’s houses for drinks and food

A second report by researcher Tim Gill, author of ‘No Fear: Growing Up in a Risk Averse Society’, found that the scheme was particularly helpful in disadvantaged areas where children had no parks or where streets were dangerous.

“My study shows that play streets are not just for up-and-coming urban areas and leafy suburbs: they can succeed in poorer areas too,” said Mr Gill.

“Local authorities must make the bureaucracy as simple as possible, and give practical help to residents, if they are to reach the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.”

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