‘Ground-breaking’ play scheme returns

A ‘GROUND-BREAKING’ scheme that allows children to get outside and have fun safely in their own streets has returned to Adur.

Following its success last year, the 2014 Play Streets scheme is now open for communities to organise their own street closures,

The scheme, inspired by the Bristol-born Playing Out project, is a resident-led activity which allows children to play in their own street safely by closing the road to through traffic for the three hours.

The Adur and Worthing Play Scheme, which ran as a pilot last year, was hailed as a resounding success with more than 15 streets taking part.

One of the main benefits of the scheme is that it encourages residents and families to work together and be active in their own streets.

Since the scheme began, a group of key organisers have set up an ‘Adur and Worthing Playing Out’ group.

They said they were delighted that Worthing County Local Committee was supporting them with community initiative funding.

They said they had been working closely with the Adur council and the county council to draw up the 2014 re-launch and spread the Playing Out spirit to more children and communities.

NSL, the firm which manages off-street parking in both districts, is sponsoring the publicity for 2014 to help promote the scheme to local residents and is helping with the street kits for organisers.

NSL’s Daniel Forbes said: “When I heard that the Play Streets scheme in Adur was being continued in 2014, I felt that this was a great opportunity for NSL to offer some assistance to help make the scheme a success.

“Street play enables kids to get out and get active which should be encouraged and we are pleased to be able to support this.”

David Simmons, Adur cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “This is a great opportunity for the community to come together and provide much-needed safe play space for our children.

“We look forward to seeing many more schemes take place across Adur this year.”

Sussex Police are also supporting of the scheme.

District commander Jo Banks said: “I am very pleased that Adur Council continues to be part this groundbreaking scheme which allows children the opportunity to experience a new type of freedom, something that has become increasingly difficult due to the higher volume of traffic on our roads.

“It allows both adults and children an opportunity to really get to know who else lives in their street, to interact more, and ultimately to help in building relationships and trust with neighbours to create closer communities that can support and look out for each other.”

The council’s communities team is on hand to support anyone wanting to organise their own play street session, especially the first one.

Residents can now apply for up to 12 dates in 2014 with flexibility on the dates they choose.

Applications and guidance are available by visiting www.adur-worthing.gov.uk

Anyone seeking more information should call Lucy Adams on 01273 263174 or email lucy.adams@adur-worthing.gov.uk

Tips are available at www.playingout.net