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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20130911017 |
|Title:||Old British Tradition on the Streets Of Doncaster|
|ID & Publication:||20130911017 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
|Subject:||Community News |
BACK in the 1920s it was common to see children and families kicking footballs around on the streets, playing hop scotch or even cricket with some makeshift wickets.
But in recent times, due to increased cars on the road, fears of safety and new technology, it’s a British tradition that has faded – until now.
Doncaster Council – with several partners - is looking to revive ‘street play’ as a way to improve community spirit, reduce anti-social behaviour and help people become healthier and more active.
It will become one of only a handful of councils and the first in Yorkshire to pilot an afternoon of fun and games on a street in Bentley and hopes that potentially, with the right community organisation, it could become popular.
Doncaster Councillor Pat Knight, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: ‘Playing out in the street after school used to be an everyday experience for children who made friends, learnt new games and got to know their street and neighbourhood safely.
‘Today few children get this chance and parents worry about the dangers of letting their children play out. The street is no longer seen an acceptable space for children to play in and as traffic has increased children have lost the confidence and ability to use the street where they live for free play.
‘There are numerous benefits of children experiencing independent play regularly. These include increased physical activity, developing social skills, coordination skills and better community cohesion.
‘We looked at a scheme by the Council in Bristol which has proved successful in getting children and families playing on the streets and wanted to bring it to Doncaster for the first time. If it is successful we would like to introduce it to other parts of Doncaster.
‘Obviously it is about teaching parents that play is possible on the streets – and with the support of the whole community and some organisation - on very quiet roads it can be done safely.’
The trial will take place in the quiet road of Balfour in Bentley. The police will be closing off the road where families will be able to enjoy two hours of fun including a mini obstacle course, hop scotch, skipping, touch rugby, boule, hula hooping, possibly cricket, and games such as British bull dog.
Balfour Road area was identified through a residents’ happiness questionnaire recently conducted through the Neighbourhood Hit Squad, a proactive DMBC housing initiative looking at well-being in neighbourhoods. One of the major concerns of the community that arose from the survey is anti-social behaviour. Doncaster Council consulted with the residents of Balfour Road and parts of The Avenue and the majority of residents seemed to like and support the idea of street play.
The local neighbourhood team has put a lot of work into organising the games and will be in charge of running them on the afternoon. This idea will hopefully be adopted in other areas. Also involved in Wednesday’s event are Bentley New Village Primary School, the Children’s Centre (Whisper in Willow), South Yorkshire Police, St Ledger Homes and Growing a Greater Bentley.
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