William Eichler 17 March 2020

Playing outside helps build ‘connected communities’, research says

Playing outside helps build ‘connected communities’, research says  image

Researchers have called on local authorities to ‘recognise and value’ the contribution of residents who organise playing out sessions for children.

A study by Newcastle University in collaboration with Playing Out - the national movement aimed at restoring children’s freedom to play out near their home – has found that resident-led play street sessions can reduce loneliness and lead to greater community cohesion.

They found that playing out sessions were a way for children of different ages and from different schools to meet and play with each other.

Adults also told researchers that playing out gave them the chance to make new connections with neighbours of all ages, regardless of whether they had children.

The research also highlighted that much of the work in organising neighbourhood playing out sessions falls to small groups of neighbours.

Professor Alison Stenning, chair in Social and Economic Geography, Newcastle University, said: ‘Playing out is not just about play and not just for children. It promotes an increase in neighbourliness, a sense of belonging, and safer, friendlier streets.

‘This research has shown that resident-led temporary play streets can play a role in helping to alleviate loneliness. This, along with many other social and community benefits, suggests that there’s a strong case for more support from Government and local authorities to ensure that playing out is something that everyone in any community can take part in.’

Alice Ferguson, co-director of Playing Out, commented: ‘We have seen for ourselves how the ‘playing out' model brings people together and leads to friendships between neighbours of all ages and backgrounds. It is fantastic to now have academic research clearly showing that this is a key outcome of resident-led play streets.

‘Stronger, more connected communities where people know and trust their neighbours are important in so many ways, particularly for children. Alongside a happy family life, children need that sense of belonging to a wider community where they have friends they can call on to play with and adults they can call on for help.’

Safely into school image

Safely into school

How many plans can be made when it comes to transport to education settings? Liz Davidson reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

SEND Operations Assistant

Essex County Council
Up to £12.02 per hour
The SEND Operations Assistant provides administration and support to the statutory SEND processes such as the Annual Review Process, in particular at phase transfer, as well as providing a triage service for all contacts received by the SEND Operations Te England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Relief Resource Centre Worker - Nidderdale Children's Resource Centre - Award Winning Team

North Yorkshire County Council
£20,493
The role of Relief Resource Centre Worker is invaluable, rewarding, complex and challenging; you will play an... Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Specialist Teacher

Birmingham City Council
Main/ Upper Pay Scale + up to full SEN Allowance
This exciting opportunity will be to join a well-established team supporting children and young people with communication and... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

People Analytics / Workforce Planning Lead

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Job Purpose This role will be responsible for carrying out data extraction, manipulation, research, analysis, and interpretation of data to provide me England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Building Surveyor

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£39774 - £42684 per annum + Essential Car Allowance
Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for this position. Please click on the job title below to view the Job Description and apply to it! England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue