AROUND 20 children enjoyed bike riding and playing ball games in an Abergavenny street on Sunday, while neighbours got to know each other better.

Now three years since Playing Out was launched in Abergavenny, parents have spoken about how the scheme has made the community stronger. The idea came about when two mothers in Bristol decided they wanted to give their children the freedom to play out in the street.

With the permission of the council the street was closed off to traffic for two hours, allowing children to play out safely and neighbours to meet.

Playing Out has spread around the UK and in 2014 Abergavenny became the first in Wales to join the scheme.

The scheme in Windsor Road, Abergavenny, was launched by mum-of-two Chloe Charrington and is supported by Monmouthshire County Council.

Around five times a year the street is closed to traffic and families take back control of the street.

“It has made our community stronger,” said Mrs Charrington, 43, of Windsor Road.

“It has helped bring people together in the area and the kids absolutely love it.”

As well as improving community cohesion, the scheme also helps tackle obesity among children by encouraging physical activity.

Daniella Radice, project manager at Playing Out, said the scheme has had many beneficial effects.

“It is about bringing children back on to the road safely,” she said.

“Neighbours get to know each other and children make friends.

“It is really a movement of parents who want to change things for the better for our children and to increase physical activity.”

The movement’s ultimate aim is for “playing out be a normal everyday activity for all children, wherever they live, rather than an organised, supervised event,” states the Playing Out website.

It adds: “We hope that what we are doing is a catalyst for change or at least, as part of a wider movement for children’s freedom to play.”

Those wishing for their street to join need to apply to the council for permission and speak to neighbours first.

Find out more about how to join the scheme by visiting