Campaigning for play in your local area

Play in the Community

Campaigning for play in your local area

You may want more – or better – opportunities for children to play in your local area, for example:

  • Creating new play spaces for all children
  • Refurbishing or upgrading existing play spaces
  • Introducing traffic calming measures
  • Getting streets closed to allow children to play there
  • Taking down ‘no ball game’ signs
  • Persuading dog owners taking more responsibility for dog mess
  • Changing adults’ attitudes towards children and teenagers playing in the community
    Keeping a park or play service open.

How to campaign for play

Whether you want to improve the local play opportunities for your own child or for all local children, there are lots of different ways you can campaign. They could include media campaigns, meetings, research and surveys.

Some issues will be quick and straightforward, while others will take longer and you will need to persevere.

All campaigns need to start with a plan. Here are the things to think about:

What do you hope to change or improve?

Can you sum this up in a short, clear way? For example:

  • My daughter can’t play with her friends because my local play space isn’t wheelchair accessible. We need an inclusive play area.
  • We can’t let our children play in the park because of the dog mess everywhere. Dog owners: we need you to clean up after your dogs.

Who do you need to persuade to do something differently?

Who has the power and responsibility to make the change you are looking for? It might be more than one person or group, for example:

  • The local community
  • Dog owners
  • A landowner
  • A housing association
  • Local councillors
  • A project funder.

What will influence their decision?

People are influenced by different things, so think about your issue from their point of view. What will persuade them to make the decision you hope for? Will it be:

  • Evidence including personal stories, and facts and figures
  • Publicity (good or bad)
  • A chance to feel or look good
  • An opportunity to do the right thing
  • A chance to do something they already believe in?

How will you make them aware of what needs to change or improve?

Make two lists:

  • The things you need to do to make your case. For example:
    • holding meetings
    • writing letters
    • staging events
    • using social media
    • working with the media.
  • The people who could help you. For example:
    • local newspaper and magazines
    • local charities or voluntary organisations with similar interests
    • members of the public
    • local politicians
    • local VIPs and celebrities.


Find out more about how you can campaign for children’s play in your local community.