A Croydon Council-backed project that temporarily closes roads so children can play safely in their street once a month could be crowned the best in London at an awards ceremony next week.
In October last year a pilot Play Street event in Love Lane, Woodside, drew more than 50 children, their parents and councillors who enjoyed the sunshine for two hours while the council kept the road closed to through traffic.
Since then Love Lane residents have turned their trial into a monthly event, and now the project is one of five shortlisted for the title of Play Street of the Year at charity London Play’s annual awards on 27 October. A video made by local children about their Play Street will be shown at the ceremony.
Part-funded by the Department of Health, London Play campaigns to give children time and space to enjoy play despite the growth of traffic, encroaching development and a more risk-averse culture.
As a result of the successful Love Lane trial, Croydon Council has encouraged residents across the borough to set up their own Play Streets, with eight further projects launched to date including the first school-run scheme last June along Brampton Road in Addiscombe.
More funding is still available from London Play to provide games equipment for parents keen on setting up their own local Play Street, and anyone interested in applying to Croydon Council for a street closure and for help setting up their own scheme should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8726 6400 ext. 63371.
“Love Lane’s short-listing is recognition of both the scheme’s success in Croydon and a tribute to the dedicated local residents who worked tirelessly to make their Play Street happen with the council’s help. I have my fingers crossed that Love Lane wins at the awards ceremony.”
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment
For more information on setting up a Play Street in Croydon, visit: www.croydon.gov.uk/healthsocial/families/ccfpartnership/playstreets
For the full list of shortlisted projects attending the 2016 Play Awards in Leicester Square, visit the London Play website.
Facebook users can also contact local Play Streets organisers and see a related video by Love Lane children by searching for Croydon Play Streets.