Makins Recreation Ground and the skatepark was full of smiling youngsters enjoying themselves on Wednesday afternoon in the sunshine.
ATBShop from Swindon joined forces with South Oxfordshire District Council and Soha Housing to put on another free skateboard workshop and ran demonstrations and competitions for those on scooters and BMXs too. The level of tricks was superb with some high above the big bowl.
There was also face painting, a bouncy castle and slide provided by Nomad Community Project plus children had the opportunity to meet Henley firefighters, have a go at holding a fire hose and could climb aboard the fire engine.
Harry from ATBShop said, “This is the third or fourth time we’ve run a workshop here in Henley. A few of these kids are regulars coming down. Everyone has improved in particular, Leon who has especially stepped up his game. Having an amazing skatepark just down the road really shows its benefits. Another local girl Jess, dabbles between scooter, BMX and skateboard and she’s getting really good now too.”
Town Councillor Paula Issac who helped organise the event said, “It’s absolutely lovely to see the whole community out and not just the skatepark community but we’ve got toddlers enjoying the bouncy castle and slides and kids enjoying the play park. It’s lovely to see everyone having fun in the sun. Myself and Jackie Logan from Soha Housing have been doing a youth consultation today to try and find out what they would like to see in Henley. I think it’s really important to get their opinions and will work on the feedback from this afterwards.”
In July, Paula held a public meeting with the neighbourhood police for residents to discuss and come up with ideas to address the recent ASB behaviour at the park.
Nomad Community workers visit the skatepark weekly. Tim Prior from Nomad said, “Thanks to John Hodges Trust and The Masowi Foundation who helped with donations to provide the bouncy castle and slide today. It’s brilliant to see so many people both young and old. About 200 people have been here so it’s a great turnout. I think these kind of events are popular with families and kids and more of these events should be held. It’s great to see the skatepark being used in a really positive way after the negative incidents over the last few months.”