Neighbourhoods across North Somerset are being urged to take advantage of a scheme which promotes health and community.

The council-backed scheme, Play Your Way, allows residents to temporarily close their streets.

This creates a safer environment for children to play in the street without the dangers of traffic, whilst also fostering a sense of community.

Aligned with the national Playing Out organisation's principles, Play Your Way looks to enhance the health and wellbeing of children and families, combat social isolation for lone residents, and empower people to foster tighter-knit neighbourhoods.

Sessions ran by Play Your Way can be up to two hours once weekly during daylight and outside of school hours.

These are designed for cul-de-sacs, no through streets and residential streets serving hamlets and cul-de-sacs.

In these sessions, the streets are closed to through traffic but still accessible to residents.

The closure is overseen by appointed stewards who also escort resident vehicles that need to leave or enter the street.

Unfortunately, streets that are on a bus route or have scheduled or emergency works going on are not suitable for the scheme.

One resident of Long Ashton, Cecilia Cand, started Play Your Way sessions with her neighbours after the pandemic.

She said: "Following the Covid lockdowns I wanted to continue the community spirit and connections that had emerged among my neighbours during that time, so suggested we close our street on a regular basis to keep this up.

"It was easy to set up with the support from Playing Out and Play Your Way who provided all the equipment we needed.

"The children love the chance to play on the road as this gives them more space and they have more independence, we see them gain in confidence on their bikes and scooters."

North Somerset Times:

She continued: "Friendships have been made and the children have more adults they know and trust.

"If anyone’s thinking of closing their street for Play Your Way, then I’d really encourage them to do so as the benefits aren't just what happens on the day but also everyday life."

Cllr Jenna Ho Marris, North Somerset Council’s executive member for public health, added: "What a great way to get kids outdoors, off the screens and meet the neighbours too.

"If you’re interested in making this happen for your street, please get in touch.

"It’s completely free to do!"

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council’s executive member for children and young people’s services, also encouraged residents to participate, saying: "Having worked with residents to help them introduce Play Your Way sessions in their streets, I’ve seen how people of all ages enjoy and benefit from it."

More information about hosting a Play Your Way session can be found at or by contacting the Better Health North Somerset team via or calling 01275 882 730.