Skateparks across the country are set to get an upgrade through a new partnership between Skateboard GB and VIY (Volunteer It Yourself).
The social enterprise combines volunteering and DIY/construction by challenging young people aged 14-24 to learn trade and construction skills whilst helping renovate and improve community and grassroots sports facilities.
The first project is already underway at LS-Ten Skatepark in Leeds, with a major overhaul of the ramps throughout the skatepark, involving 20 young people gaining a City & Guild qualification and on-site skills training together with the support of Vision Ramps.
The improvements are set to be completed by 12th April, which will be the first day indoor skateparks have been able to open since the beginning of the year, due to government restrictions.
The partnership was created between Skateboard GB and VIY last year, reaching out to indoor skateparks wanting to make improvements. There were 15 applications in the first phase, with the next project due to commence at Flo Skatepark in Nottingham later this month. The partnership is part of a long-term plan which will see numerous skateparks benefitting from the upskilling of young people and their involvement in helping to develop and improve these facilities.
VIY’s broader partnership with Sport England covers the delivery of 200+ VIY projects with community sport clubs, facilities and active spaces in need over 2020-23, at the same time as involving and benefitting 4,500 young people who are NEET (not in employment, education or training). Additional support also comes from other VIY partners such as Travis Perkins, Dulux and GAP Hire Solutions, who provide additional funding and materials to help maximise the impact VIY projects are able to achieve.
“Our work with Skateboard GB and other sports bodies is all about helping make community sports facilities and active spaces more accessible and sustainable, whilst also enabling young people to gain valuable employment skills. LS-Ten is also a great example of how young people can be brilliantly motivated to help improve a space that is really important to them for their broader wellbeing, especially given the challenges of the past year due to Covid,” says Tim Reading, CEO at VIY.