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Helping to play safely in North Tyneside’s streets

Children play safely in their street at a PlayMeetStreet event.
Children play safely in their street at a PlayMeetStreet event.

An initiative to bring communities together through play could be expanded around the borough.

PlayMeetStreet North Tyneside was launched last July by three mothers – Alison Stenning, Lynsey Nichol and Jane Fahey.

The initial period has seen ten streets in North Shields, Cullercoats and Whitley Bay to play out.

Alison said: “The idea is for neighbours to get together every few weeks, after school or at the weekends, to meet and play in their street.

“Street play sessions are short, stewarded road closures, giving children the chance to play safely near home, but also making the street feel safer and friendlier for everyone.

“Parents or carers are always responsible for their own children’s safety and behaviour, as normal.”

PlayMeetStreet North Tyneside applies to North Tyneside Council on residents’ behalf for a licence to approve a temporary closure, initially for a one-off closure for a trial before applying for a full year of closures.

Alison added: “PlayMeetStreet North Tyneside supports residents every step of the way, with consulting neighbours, liaising with the council, and planning the actual street play session.

“The benefits of this kind of street play are many. We all need space for play. Children and adults benefit from getting to know their neighbours and from developing new friendships. Communities in which people know and recognise each other feel safer.”

Now there is hope to expand the initiative across North Tyneside.

For more information, visit https://playmeetstreet.wordpress.com/ the or Facebook page www.facebook.com/playstreets/

Alternatively email playmeetstreetnt@gmail.com

Preston ward councillor Cath Davis spent time at a recent PlayMeetStreet event and is hoping to help spread the word and help build stronger relationships between organisers and the council.

She said “I think PlayMeetStreet is a great initiative and such a great asset for the community.”