‘Play is a child’s right; a need, a necessity, a joy. Let’s make 2021 the summer of play’
As a member of Playful Bristol, we are joining a national campaign calling for a #Summer of Play, to help children across the UK recover from the impact of the pandemic.
As lockdown starts to ease Playful Bristol and dozens of other national organisations, including Save the Children and Play England, are coming together to call for a Summer of Play, so children everywhere can start to reconnect, be active outdoors, have fun and recover.
Bristol has always been a playful city – it’s one of the main reasons why Bristol has an international reputation as a family-friendly place to live. Multiple play opportunities are important to families and vital to a healthy, happy childhood.
Over the past 14 months Playful Bristol has heard from many children across the city about how the pandemic has negatively affected their social and mental wellbeing. Although the direct risk of Covid to children has been extremely small, children have been enormously impacted by the lockdowns and restrictions. Children have missed playing out with friends, adventure playgrounds have had to close, they’ve been stuck on screens for long times and become scared of going outside. Research is starting to show how lack of play is impacting children’s physical and mental health, with the most disadvantaged children being the worst affected.
Children in Bristol have always had great opportunities to play. One of the greenest cities in the UK, Bristol has wonderful public parks, estates and woodland as well as amazing play organisations, adventure playgrounds, street play culture, after-school clubs and holiday playschemes. Supporting and recognising the vital role play has in children’s lives is even more important this year.