In 2006, a group of youths interested in skateboarding became a bit fed up with being moved on from various areas when trying to skate and get some time out. They decided to discuss this with some of their parents, who then took the issue to the Highland Council but things were slow and we got bored with waiting for something to happen.So back to our Parents again and this time, they set up meetings to take this forward as a youth group and to see if we could make a difference.Minginish Youth Club had recently completed the Graffiti Workshops and decided to have an exhibition and Open Day at An Tuireann in Portree. Part of the organisation included the Highland Council and Community Centre arranging for the loan of mobile skate ramps to set up at the Open Day – this was a great success.
To keep the focus going, the next public awareness day was at the Agricultural show in Portree, again we had the portable ramps and had a raffle and collected petitions too.We obtained over 400 names and raised £300 which we used to demonstrate the popularity of skating and that a lot of people would be interested in a dedicated facility. We also did a bag pack at the local Co-op to help with funding.After two years we became a formal not for profit group with a constitution and a bank account and OK Skate was born.
Onwards and upwards, Lesley gained funding for skate boards and safety equipment, and engaged with lots of young people who used the ramp for skateboarding, BMXing or just a place to meet up with friends. After lots of consultation with various groups, ages, etc., from different events it was realised that young people, desperately wanted somewhere to go, off the streets, away from harm’s way, somewhere dry, with things to do, with something exciting to do and to learn, away from everyday problems and negativity and a place where they could meet up and talk through things, without being judged. What a task!!! But after lots of meetings, discussions, and Lesley had a plan, and put it into action. The outcome of all this hard/voluntary work is Yippee, we gained funding from the Big Lottery ‘Young Start’. And now we are open for business, delivering what young people asked for!! Come and see for yourself, it is quite AMAZING, and by the looks of things we are already outgrowing the premises already. Next stop – just wait and see what’s in store for the young people of Skye.