Council u-turn on play street charges-demo

Play to lead London’s great reawakening

Council u-turn on play street charges

Join the pledge! Summer of Play

Children today have two years less freedom than their parents

Children bear brunt of mental health crisis

Scotland leads with summer of play

Hackney bus to play on

Play and the pandemic study launched

 

London Play has supported a successful resident-led campaign to overturn a decision by Croydon Council to introduce charges for children playing in the street.

Resident Sue Ahmad was “shocked and angered” when she was told that there would be a charge of £234 to renew the licence for a play street that has been running in Thornton Heath since 2018. Her street, Livingstone Road is closed to through traffic for three hours on every second Sunday of the month Between March and October,

“The decision to introduce this charge seems very short-sighted, particularly now; when communities have suffered through more than a year of isolation and separation.”

The council confirmed on June 4 that a £234 charge would be levied to pay the costs of advertising the road closure, despite it not being a legal requirement.

In a letter to Cabinet Member for Sustainable Croydon Cllr Muhammad Ali, London Play deputy director Fiona Sutherland wrote: “The decision to introduce this charge seems very short-sighted, particularly now; when communities have suffered through more than a year of isolation and separation, accompanied by a marked decline in the mental and physical health of both children and adults.  Play streets are a cheap and easy resident-led initiative which mitigate exactly these negative impacts. Now more than ever, they should be encouraged.”

A petition challenging the council organised by play street organiser Siobhain O’Hanlon attracted 600 signatures and then yesterday Cllr Ali confirmed on Twitter that Croydon Council “has always supported play street events and will continue to support anyone who wants to organise a play street without any charges.” Officers at the council confirmed there would be no charge and that the earlier notices had been sent ‘in error’. 

Play news
Parents are worried that the loss of freedom to play during the pandemic could have a long term impact on their children.
London Play in the news
London Play has joined academics and other play campaigners in calling on the government to support 'a summer of play' to help children recover from the stress of lockdown and a year of Covid upheaval.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

London is set to become ‘Britain’s biggest playground’ this summer as mayor Sadiq Khan launches a search for five special kids to become London’s first Mayors of Play and London Play brings ‘Formula Fun’ go kart action to the city streets.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is inviting families from across London and UK to spend their school holidays experiencing all that the capital’s attractions have to offer this summer.

Announcing the latest phase of his #LetsDoLondon campaign, the biggest domestic tourism the capital has ever seen, the ‘Family Fun’ season will see London burst back to life with an unprecedented range of family-friendly events and activities.

New City Hall figures show that while weekend visitor numbers to central London are improving, now at around 75 per cent compared to 2019, weekday visitors are still at around 54 per cent compared to before the pandemic. The Mayor today is inviting families from around London and further afield to visit the capital declaring ‘there has never been a better time for children and families avoid the queues at our wonderful attractions.’

Unveiling a whole range of exciting activities for children of all ages today, Sadiq is encouraging families across the capital and nationwide to plan a day trip, mini break or a longer staycation to what he is calling ‘Britain’s biggest playground’ this summer.

The Family Fun Programme will include everything from ‘Formula Fun’ go-karting on the streets of London, to new fairground rides, and events with top class musicians, poets, street artists and dancers. There will be new outdoor art trails, as well as exclusive events to celebrate the return of West End theatre as part of Kids Week. New outdoor learning and play experiences will also connect families with London’s nature and heritage through hands-on fun and inspiring activities led by Royal Parks. Further events and activities are being organised by leading cultural institutions such as the National Gallery, Sadler’s Wells, and Somerset House. This includes the Tate Modern inviting visitors of all ages to transform the floor of the Turbine Hall into a giant work of art.

With children having been deprived of play and many other important experiences during the pandemic, the Mayor is inviting young Londoners to apply for a summer job like no other. He is today starting his public search to fill an exciting new vacancy – the opportunity to become London’s first ‘Mayors of Play’.

A team of up to five lucky Londoners – between the ages of 8-11– will be given the chance of filling this once in a lifetime ‘summer job’. Once appointed, the Mayors of Play will work alongside Sadiq providing ‘expert’ guidance in curating the most family-friendly and accessible activities in London. During their time in office, the Mayors of Play will share their recommendations on London’s best museums and outdoor spaces as well as their favourite galleries and activities. The Mayors of Play will also share their favourite places to eat and drink and will help reimagine London’s iconic tube map for their peers.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s been such an incredibly difficult 16 months for young people and their families, so I’m delighted that we can offer such a huge range of exciting events and activities that young people can enjoy.

“I want to turn London into Britain’s biggest playground this summer – whether with our plans for go-karting, new fairground rides, or opportunities to get involved in dance, poetry, art, or preserving nature in our wonderful royal parks. And in launching my search for London’s first ever ‘Mayors of Play’, I want to hear directly from our young people about what we need to focus on most to make the capital even better for children.

“With restrictions on international travel still in place, there has never been a better time for children and families from London and across the UK to avoid the queues and safely visit our wonderful attractions this summer.

“And with London’s streets still quieter than before the pandemic, by visiting the capital this summer, you’ll be giving our wonderful visitor attractions the support they need now more than ever to guarantee their survival.”

Paul Hocker, Director of London Play, said: “London Play is committed to creating happy London childhoods and that’s been tough to deliver on over the last 18 months, so we’re delighted to be working with the Mayor and his team on the Let’s Do London programme with our Formula Fun events.

“This is the summer London’s children and their families deserve and London – the world’s leading city for play – is the place to be. Watch out for our hand-made go-kart workshops across central London in August bringing together hundreds of Londoners, big and small”.

For those young Londoners between 8-11 years old who feel up to the task of becoming a ‘Mayor of Play’ – simply ask a parent or guardian to help you apply here – https://www.london.gov.uk/mayors-play-competition by Monday 19 July.

Or want to get involved in London Play’s Formula Fun go kart events? We need you to have a team of eight children (plus adult supporters) and a central London location (street, housing estate, community centre) with enough space outside to build and race in. More info is HERE. 

London Play Press Releases
London Play is one of  many organisations behind a campaign to ensure that every child has the space, time, and freedom to play this summer as Covid-19 restrictions are eased. Can you sign the #SummerOfPlay pledge?
London Play Press Releases
London Play has supported a successful resident-led campaign to overturn a decision by Croydon Council to introduce charges for children playing in the street.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

London Play has supported a successful resident-led campaign to overturn a decision by Croydon Council to introduce charges for children playing in the street.

Resident Sue Ahmad was “shocked and angered” when she was told that there would be a charge of £234 to renew the licence for a play street that has been running in Thornton Heath since 2018. Her street, Livingstone Road is closed to through traffic for three hours on every second Sunday of the month Between March and October,

“The decision to introduce this charge seems very short-sighted, particularly now; when communities have suffered through more than a year of isolation and separation.”

The council confirmed on June 4 that a £234 charge would be levied to pay the costs of advertising the road closure, despite it not being a legal requirement.

In a letter to Cabinet Member for Sustainable Croydon Cllr Muhammad Ali, London Play deputy director Fiona Sutherland wrote: “The decision to introduce this charge seems very short-sighted, particularly now; when communities have suffered through more than a year of isolation and separation, accompanied by a marked decline in the mental and physical health of both children and adults.  Play streets are a cheap and easy resident-led initiative which mitigate exactly these negative impacts. Now more than ever, they should be encouraged.”

A petition challenging the council organised by play street organiser Siobhain O’Hanlon attracted 600 signatures and then yesterday Cllr Ali confirmed on Twitter that Croydon Council “has always supported play street events and will continue to support anyone who wants to organise a play street without any charges.” Officers at the council confirmed there would be no charge and that the earlier notices had been sent ‘in error’. 

Play news
Parents are worried that the loss of freedom to play during the pandemic could have a long term impact on their children.
London Play in the news
London Play has joined academics and other play campaigners in calling on the government to support 'a summer of play' to help children recover from the stress of lockdown and a year of Covid upheaval.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

The London Play is one of many organisations behind the #SummerOfPlay campaign, to give children the space, time, and freedom to play this summer as Covid-19 restrictions are eased. Can your organisation join the pledge?

For more than a year, children across the UK have been forced to spend time indoors, inactive and isolated from friends due to Covid-19 restrictions. It is not surprising that we have seen unprecedented increases in children’s mental health problems and loneliness, alongside reduced physical activity.

In response, child psychologists, paediatricians and educators have independently and urgently called for play to be central to children’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and many others agree. Together we now are calling for everyone to help make this summer a #SummerOfPlay for children across the UK.

“After everything children have been through over the last year, we are calling on organisations to sign the pledge to support children’s play this summer.”

To join the #SummerOfPlay campaign, please take the pledge to enable all children, in all our communities, to have space and time for play this summer by supporting fun, friends, and freedom.

Sign the pledge here

Play news
The Scottish government has pledged £20m in funding to ensure that children have a Summer of Play to help address the impacts associated with extended periods of isolation and reduced participation in normal activities.
London Play in the news
London Play has joined academics and other play campaigners in calling on the government to support 'a summer of play' to help children recover from the stress of lockdown and a year of Covid upheaval.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

London Play will be bringing joy back to the city streets this summer as part of the Mayor’s ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign, to encourage Londoners and visitors back into the capital.

Mayor of London press release

Sadiq Khan formally signed in for a second term as Mayor of London on Monday 10 May, on stage at the iconic Shakespeare’s Globe, as he announced plans for the biggest domestic tourism campaign the capital has ever seen to help London’s economy get back on its feet as COVID restrictions are eased.

An immediate priority for the Mayor will be his new ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign, launching today, which is being created in partnership with the city’s hospitality, culture, and retail industries. The flagship campaign to encourage Londoners and visitors back into central London will include a programme of one-off special events created in partnership with London’s best-known cultural institutions and tourism attractions. It will kick off later this month

Kicking off in spring with  the capital’s famous chefs, foodies and hospitality venues coming together to promote and celebrate London’s world-class food offer, the summer will offer families and children a plethora of free, joyful opportunities.

London Play, the capital’s leading charity for children’s play, will be opening up central London for families and transforming streets with play.

Other summer attractions will include the London Festival of Hope which “will bring a true celebration of life with an art and photography contest, competitions for all the family including an amateur ‘bake-off’, community activations, giant inflatables taking over London’s skyline and a series of outdoor live music concerts that will reimagine the performance space.” The Southbank Centre will welcome audiences back with their Summer Reunion programme – 15 consecutive weekends of free outdoor activity from and the Tate Modern will also be offering large scale free activities during the summer.

Click here for full details in the press release on the Mayor of London website.

London Play Press Releases
More than four square kilometres of temporary play space was created in an instant last month as Londoners came out to play on their car free streets.
A single donation will help us with our work today; a regular donation will help us plan for the future. There are a number of ways that you can donate:

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

The British Children’s Play Survey finds most children turn 11 before they can play outside unsupervised.

The Guardian

Primary-age children in Britain are losing the freedom to play independently and typically are not are allowed to play outside on their own until two years older than their parents’ generation were, according to research.

While their parents were allowed to play outside unsupervised by the age of nine on average, today’s children are 11 by the time they reach the same milestone, according to the study, which says not enough adventurous play could affect children’s long-term physical and mental health.

One expert said the findings showed that British children had been subject to “a gradual, creeping lockdown over at least a generation”.

Researchers asked more than 1,900 parents of five-to-11-year-olds about their children’s play for the British Children’s Play Survey, the largest study of its kind. They found that children averaged three hours of play a day over the course of a year, around half of which took place outside.

For more on this story visit The Guardian website.

Adventure play
OK, so WE KNOW that adventure playgrounds are worth their weight in gold. Our Play Works project (2015-20) supported play workers to make sure they had the evidence to convince potential funders of the same.
A single donation will help us with our work today; a regular donation will help us plan for the future. There are a number of ways that you can donate:

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

The number of children seeking help for mental health problems increased by 28% during the pandemic, new figures have revealed.

local.gov.uk

Analysis of NHS Digital data by the Royal College of Psychiatrists shows that children have been most affected by the ‘mental health crisis’.

The data shows 80,226 more children and young people were referred to CYP mental health services between April and December last year, up by 28% on 2019.

More than 18,000 children and young people needed urgent or emergency crisis care during this time, an increase of 18% on 2019.

Dr Bernadka Dubicka, chair of the child and adolescent faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

‘Our children and young people are bearing the brunt of the mental health crisis caused by the pandemic and are at risk of lifelong mental illness. As a frontline psychiatrist I’ve seen the devastating effect that school closures, disrupted friendships and the uncertainty caused by the pandemic have had on the mental health of our children and young people.”

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is calling for the additional £500m promised for mental health to urgently reach the frontline to tackle the crisis.

More on this story at local.gov.uk.

Adventure play
OK, so WE KNOW that adventure playgrounds are worth their weight in gold. Our Play Works project (2015-20) supported play workers to make sure they had the evidence to convince potential funders of the same.
A single donation will help us with our work today; a regular donation will help us plan for the future. There are a number of ways that you can donate:

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

The Scottish government has pledged £20m in funding to help address the impacts on children of extended periods of isolation and reduced participation in normal activities during the pandemic.

Funding of £20 million will deliver a range of activities for children and young people and their families over the summer, ensuring they are provided with opportunities to socialise, play and reconnect within their local communities and environments.

In particular this will provide support for those children and young people who may otherwise struggle to access such experiences during the holidays.

Working with local authorities and partner organisations including sportscotland, Creative Scotland, Play Scotland, Education Scotland and others, the funding will support existing provision of community-based services while also widening access to other local facilities, such as school estates and local sports facilities

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“We do not underestimate the physical and mental health impacts which children and young people have experienced throughout the pandemic, and that the impacts have fallen unequally across society.

“This enhanced range of summer experiences for children and young people will help address the impacts associated with extended periods of isolation and reduced participation in normal activities. This offer will have children’s rights and needs at its heart, and will provide opportunities to socialise across a range of activities, combined with broader support where needed.

More on this story here.

Adventure play
OK, so WE KNOW that adventure playgrounds are worth their weight in gold. Our Play Works project (2015-20) supported play workers to make sure they had the evidence to convince potential funders of the same.
A single donation will help us with our work today; a regular donation will help us plan for the future. There are a number of ways that you can donate:

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

The team behind Hackney Playbus has raised more than £30,000 to build a new travelling play centre to provide free support to the borough’s children and families.

Hackney Gazette

A double-decker, the brightly coloured Hackney Playbus has been on the road since 1972, visiting different parts of Hackney to provide play and learning opportunities for children aged up to four-years-old.

Last March due to Covid-19 restrictions, the service was halted. Then the bus then had to be taken off the road completely because the original 1999 vehicle failed to comply with the Low Emission Zone Euro VI standards that came into effect in March 2021.

Clapton Trustree, for the Hackney Playbus, Emma Bridge, 49, said:

“We deliver Playbus sessions in the local community, parking [it] in housing estates or in nearby parks to give families a safe place to play, which is especially important for families living in cramped or overcrowded conditions.”

Run by a number of paid playworkers and volunteers, the team developed remote services over lockdown, including online play sessions and arranging access to essentials like nappies and food.

More on this story at the Hackney Gazette.

Adventure play
OK, so WE KNOW that adventure playgrounds are worth their weight in gold. Our Play Works project (2015-20) supported play workers to make sure they had the evidence to convince potential funders of the same.
A single donation will help us with our work today; a regular donation will help us plan for the future. There are a number of ways that you can donate:

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

A national ‘observatory’ of children’s play experiences during Covid-19 is being led by academics at UCL and the University of Sheffield.

Nursery World

 

The research project, known as The Play Observatory, has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s Covid-19 rapid response call, to research children’s play during this unique time in history.

An online survey was released, inviting children, young people and adults to share examples of their play.

Researchers at UCL Institute of Education; the University of Sheffield and UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, have been documenting the many ways that children are playing from the outset of the pandemic onwards: by themselves and with others; indoors and outdoors; with and without screens.

More on this story at Nursery World.

Children and young people
In this briefing note, data collected in the last week of February 2021 is analysed to understand parents’ views about two important aspects of the return to school.
Current work
2021: The Play Street Carousel is a unique project that harnesses the power of play to strengthen bonds between neighbours, even as the pandemic keeps us all apart.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP