Play Your Way across North Somerset


Neighbourhoods across North Somerset are being encouraged to take advantage of a scheme which promotes health and community, as North Somerset Council continues its work to tackle health inequalities and help more people enjoy better health.

Play Your Way is a council supported scheme which helps residents temporarily close their roads, allowing more children to play in their streets without the fear of traffic and encouraging neighbours to meet.

Using the principles of the national Playing Out organisation, Play Your Way aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children and families, reduce social isolation for residents that live alone and empower residents to create a more cohesive neighbourhood.

Play Your Way sessions can be for up to two hours, once a week during daylight and out of school hours. Cul-de-sacs and no through streets as well as residential streets serving cul-de-sacs and hamlets are suitable for the sessions.

During the session streets are closed to through traffic. However, vehicle access for residents is maintained. The closure must be supervised by designated stewards and resident vehicles that leave or enter the street are escorted by a steward.

Streets that are on a bus route or which have scheduled or emergency works taking place are not suitable for the scheme.

Cecilia Cand, from Long Ashton, started Play Your Way sessions with her neighbours after the pandemic: 

“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” explained Cecilia.

“It was easy to set up with the support from Playing Out and Play Your Way who provided all the equipment we needed. We close the street for two hours most months and it provides us adults with the opportunity to catch up with each other.

“The children love the chance to play on the road as this gives them more space and they have more freedom and independence to explore. We see them gain in confidence on their bikes and scooters, with their football or basketball, and using their imagination, playing with whatever they've chosen to bring out with them.  It always brings a smile to my face when I see the chalk drawings still on the road after we've reopened the road. 

“Friendships have been made despite differences in age and the children have more adults they know and trust as a result. 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, said: 

“What a great way to get kids outdoors, off the screens and meet the neighbours too! I'm a trained playworker, and I wish kids had the freedom and independence to run around with friends for hours after school. As well as being great fun for children, Play Your way also helps older residents and those who live alone meet their neighbours, encouraging precious inter-generational links and bringing people closer together.

“If you’re interested in making this happen for your street, please get in touch. We’ll guide you through the process of making it happen and it’s completely free to do!”

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council’s executive member for children and young people’s services added: 

“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. It really does make a difference to physical and mental wellbeing so contact us to find out more and get your street started!”

Find out more about hosting a Play Your Way session on your street at or contact the Better Health North Somerset team by emailing or calling 01275 882 730.