images of children playing and community members dancing

Apply now: Turn your street into a vibrant, fun community through ‘Redbridge Play Streets’

Published: 19 May 2023

Local communities are being invited to turn their street into a hive of fun and activity in time for summer by applying to become a Redbridge Play Street.

A popular initiative embraced by local people, Redbridge Play Streets enables communities to close off their road to traffic for a few hours a month so that neighbours, children, and families can socialise and play out together on the street safely.

Backed by Redbridge Council, the scheme empowers local people to create thriving, close-knit communities on their street, and encourage more outdoor play opportunities for children.

So far 20 Play Streets have been approved by Redbridge Council and are being run across the borough as part of the Council’s commitment to becoming a UNICEF UK accredited ‘Child Friendly Borough’.

Applications are now open for the summer round of Play Streets applications so local people can create car-free, fun community spaces on their street.

The deadline to submit completed applications is by Friday 2 June. For more information, or to apply, go to:

Millie Richards is a mum-of-two who was inspired to run a Play Street as a way to get to know her neighbours after moving to the borough.  

The healthcare professional from Wanstead is now encouraging others to take part in the scheme saying: “Play Streets can be really flexible so there’s no pressure to run one all the time. The Play Street events we’ve held have been a great way to bring neighbours together and create a community vibe on our street. It’s also been lovely seeing my kids widen their social circle by playing with other kids on the street – you don’t often see kids playing like that these days.”

Successful Play Street applicants are provided with a legal notice from the council enabling them to close their street to through traffic at specified days and times.

Neighbours volunteer to ‘steward’ the road closures, enabling children to play freely on the street and neighbours to socialise and get to know each other better.

A Play Street can be as simple as children chalk drawing and playing games, and neighbours sharing a coffee, cake, and chat, to full blown community parties, tug of war and Zumba classes being held on the street! Bringing the street together is also a great way to build a friendly neighbourhood network, and support anyone who might be experiencing isolation or loneliness at home.

Redbridge Cabinet Member for Environment and Civic Pride Cllr Jo Blackman, said: “Play Streets are a great way to reimagine and reclaim streets for local people to enjoy without cars. They can help improve children’s health and well-being, as well as building stronger communities and a sense of belonging. We’re keen to keep growing the number of Play Streets in Redbridge and are encouraging local people to be part of this community-minded movement, which is already having a positive impact on many neighbourhoods across the borough.”

For more information on Redbridge Play Streets go to:

Child Friendly Redbridge:

Redbridge has partnered with global children’s charity UNICEF UK and their Child Friendly Cities & Communities initiative to make the borough a child friendly community.

The global programme encourages local services to commit to fulfilling children’s rights. The aim is to create a city or community where the voices, needs, priorities and the rights of children play an integral part in public policies and programmes, as well as being involved in the decision-making process.

Find out more about Child Friendly Redbridge and the council’s work towards Redbridge becoming a UNICEF-accredited “Child Friendly Borough”: