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Your how-to guide for starting a Playing Out scheme

On this page you will find how to go about starting your own Playing Out scheme in St Albans District.

To see an overview of the Playing Out St Albans District project visit our main Playing Out St Albans District page. For our events and deadlines, please visit our Playing Out Latest News page.

Please note, unfortunately Playing Out schemes are not possible on daily bus routes.

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Stewards enjoying a cuppa – from Playing Out St Albans District

Steps to Playing Out Applications
Getting your street ready for Playing Out 

adapted from www.playingout.net

A. Understand how Playing Out works

B. Informally chat to neighbours. 

  • Get the idea out there, explain to people how it works. 
  • Try to get a small project team of neighbours working together,
  • Gather opinions about the stretch to be closed and when to do it (e.g. 2 hours one Sunday afternoon a month).

C. Organise a street meeting via letter drop. 

  • Invite everyone in the street plus any other parties affected (eg businesses and garage owners)
  • Make sure everyone feels welcome. 
  • Give them ways to contact you (email/phone) so there is plenty of opportunity for those not able to attend to reach you to discuss how it works. 
  • You can download a sample meeting invitation from our Useful Docs section below.
  • Attaching a map or description of what will be closed is helpful or you can present options for discussion at the meeting. 
  • At the meeting, talk it through, listen to thoughts, make decisions about dates and road closure stretches, collect contact details, share out roles.
  • You can then choose the dates and times you are applying for – see Choosing Your Dates section on our Playing Out News page for some advice

D. Address concerns or objections

E. Communicate back to the street

  • Don’t be put off if you have only a few people responding to your invitation or attending the meeting. As long as everyone is informed and no-one has any objections, you can count that as a big win!
  • If you have had no objections, communicate back to the street what was decided and that you will be applying or have applied.  

F. Apply! 

G. Get ready

  • Read the official Playing Out manual
  • Carry out a risk assessment – this is not daunting and we have a template to give you ideas to get you started – (see Useful Docs below). 
  • Sort out your kit (see Kit below).
  • Put up your formal closure notice (TPSO) two weeks before you play out.
  • Plan the location of your Road Ahead Closed signs (if using them); ask to borrow wheelie bins if needed for hanging signs on.
  • Let your street know the dates and times of the sessions (but do not publicise more widely than on your street). We have a sample letter in Useful Docs below.
  • Make sure you communicate clearly that parents are responsible for their own children.
  • A few days before, windscreen flyers can be good for cars in the closed area. See Useful Docs below.
  • You can also put up posters in your street only. This www.playingout.net page has a very useful editable poster for windows and lamp posts.
  • Recruit your neighbours to be stewards (2 per closure point).
  • Print a photo permission form (see Useful Docs below) if you want to take photos of local kids. We love to receive them but please make sure you have consent.
  • Print some Steward Briefing Documents (see Useful Docs below).
  • Charge your mobile phone.

H. Play Out!

  • Brief your stewards – this is a really important bit so, even if they are your friends and you feel a bit silly, do make it as formal as you can to get the message across. There are also sections on dealing with cars, etc in the Playing Out manual.
  • Put up your signs and ensure stewards have their high viz jackets.
  • Make sure stewards have your phone number.
  • Close the road safely with the stewards (see the Playing Out manual).
  • There is lots of advice in the Playing Out manual about how to manage the session so have a good read!
  • Have fun, smile lots, be welcoming and be proud of yourself for what you have achieved for your community!
  • Gather contact details for your neighbours.
  • Re-open the road safely with the stewards (see the Playing Out manual). Make sure everyone, especially children, are clear that all is going back to ‘normal’.
  • Let us know how you got on – we’d love to hear from you!

If you need any help with any of this, please do not hesitate to contact the Playing Out St Albans District team.


Kit for Playing Out

Playing Out St Albans District aims to be able to lend (without charge) all streets the essential kit to enable them to play out. Here is a list of what you will need – if you cannot assemble the kit yourself please contact the Playing Out St Albans District team and we will help you.

Essential kit

  • Road Closed sign – 1 per closure point (don’t forget any side streets or lanes)
  • Road Ahead Closed signs – if deemed necessary, particularly if your street is off a main road or drivers will be required to turn around at the closure point
  • High Viz jackets – 1 per steward, 2 stewards per closure point
  • A few Playing Out leaflets for curious passers-by
  • Whistle

Nice-to-have kit

  • Pavement chalk
  • Long skipping rope
  • French skipping elastic
  • Tea & biscuits for neighbours
  • Soft/sponge ball
  • Umbrella
  • Walkie Talkies (for stewards)
Stewarding point – from Playing Out St Albans District
Girl chalking – from Playing Out St Albans District

Useful Documents for Playing Out St Albans District Applications
(all Word docs are also available in Pages for Mac – please email us if needed)

St Albans District Council Guidance for Playing Out

Full Playing Out manual (from the national body at www.playingout.net)

Playing Out St Albans District FAQ for the public

Playing Out St Albans District Sample Street Meeting Invitation

Playing Out St Albans District Sample Application Map
Notes: You will need to provide a map of the section of road you wish to close. Please check that your map shows street names, shows closure points, shows a linking diversion route and shows the road closure in a different colour to the diversion route. Google Maps or similar online maps work well as a background. Please use a key to explain any annotations. Hand drawn maps of the street cannot be accepted. Please save and submit your map in PDF format.

Playing Out St Albans Sample Completed Application Form

Click here to access the Playing Out St Albans District online application form

Sample Risk Assessment
Please do a risk assessment of your own for your own street and closures. This is an example only.

Sample letter advising dates to neighbours

Sample Stewards Briefing

Sample Windscreen Flyer

Photo Permission form
If you wish to take photos of your session and send them to us we would love that! Please make sure you have consent for everyone before you do, including written consent for children.


Next

Return to main Playing Out project page

or

Click here for Playing Out Latest News – includes events and deadline dates

or

Find out about our Festive Streets project