Page 1: Researching Playful Streets during the Covid-19 Lockdown

You are being invited to take part in a research study. Before you decide whether or not to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information carefully. Please feel free to discuss it with others, and ask if anything is unclear or if you would like more information.

Who is conducting the research? The research is being conducted by Professor Alison Stenning and Dr Wendy Russell, in collaboration with Playing Out. Alison is a geographer at Newcastle University (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/gps/staff/profile/alisonstenning.html), but she is also involved in developing play streets in North Tyneside. Wendy is an experienced play researcher and visiting research fellow at the University of Gloucester. Playing Out (https://playingout.net/) is a UK-wide grassroots movement aimed at restoring children’s freedom to play out in their neighbourhoods. The research is funded by The Leverhulme Trust.

What is the study about? The project is trying to find out more about how residents, of all ages, connect to the people and places on their streets when they play on them. The study began before the coronavirus crisis but is now also seeking to find out more about this issue during the crisis, as we have seen many examples of playful acts (such as chalking, rainbow trails, dancing) on streets in recent weeks. We want to try to understand how people feel play on their streets has changed since the lockdown started, why people get involved in playful acts on their streets, and how they feel about such playfulness on their streets.

Why have I been invited to participate? You have been invited to participate because you have expressed an interest in telling us more about play and neighbours on and around your street.

What does my participation entail? You are being invited to complete an online questionnaire to record your experiences of play, neighbours and streets during the covid-19 lockdown. We invite you to answer these questions as fully as you wish. We are also asking you to submit photographs, videos and images of play on your streets to us for analysis. 

What will you do with the information I provide? The questionnaire responses will be downloaded and analysed to highlight key themes. The photos, maps and videos will be analysed to reflect on where and how people are playing on their streets. Eventually, the research findings will be used to develop academic presentations and publications, blog posts and a report for policy and practice.

Will my involvement be kept confidential? Data will be stored securely at Newcastle University for the duration of the project. Any details which might make your responses easily identifiable  - your name, your street, for example - will not be used in work relating to this research. Whilst every effort will be made to ensure your anonymity, it is important to point out that the nature of some of your comments and answers may reveal your identity. Any photos and videos you submit may also reveal your identity and that of your neighbours; we will ask you to confirm your consent to using these images and videos in different ways.

What happens if I decide not to take part or change my mind? Your participation in this project is entirely voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time without giving a reason.

Who has reviewed the research? The research has been reviewed and approved by Newcastle University’s Research Ethics Committee.

Further Information If you have any concerns or would like to discuss your participation further, Alison can be contacted by email alison.stenning@newcastle.ac.uk.

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