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Bradford families call on community to ‘bring back outdoor play’

07 December 2021

By: Emma Wragg - JU:MP Staff

JU:MP (Join Us: Move. Play), supported by Magpie’s social marketing, has teamed up with families in Bradford for Outdoor Classroom Day, to launch their own video ‘Bring back outdoor play’ – to call on the Bradford community to help children and their families recover from the stress of lockdown and a year of Covid upheaval.

The JU:MP programme, funded by Sport England, works with families, communities, schools and organisations, to test and learn how we can build healthier and more active communities, whilst making improvements to the local environment.

As the government draws up its latest education catch-up plans, Bradford families and JU:MP are appealing to the local community for a new emphasis on play, as children and their family members emerge from lockdown.

Ruhi, mum to Suhaan (11), Salman (10), Mahnoor (8) and Manha (4), was eager to take part in the video: “I think more and more children today have less and less contact with the natural world and just being outdoors. And this is having a huge impact on their health. I’d love to see children playing out more, like we used to do years ago. It’s the perfect time with Summer coming!”

Psychologists have reported behavioural changes in some children, following the lockdowns, including isolation from friends, struggling to share and play together, and a worrying drop-in physical activity.

Hina and Asif, parents of Muhammad (9), Salahudeen (6) and Eemaan (4), were also delighted to take part, Hina said: “It’s tough being a parent trying to make sure your kids are healthy and have time outdoors, when there are other things that run through your mind like ‘stranger danger’, the amount of traffic on the road, or unease of local groups hanging around the parks.”

“But it also feels like it’s our time now, as parents, to support one another, whatever those anxieties are, and show our kids that we’re all in this together. We can reclaim our streets, our parks and community spirit, by fighting for the rights of our children – to bring back outdoor play for them – and for ourselves.”

Asif agreed: “I think it’s really important right now for people to feel connected to one another. When you’re outdoors seeing other children and their families together playing, laughing and chatting it reminds us of our natural connection to one another in the wider world. I don’t think that ever changes.”

Join the JU:MP movement and the #Bringbackoutdoorplay conversation because #OutdoorPlayMatters.