A coalition of local parents in Telegraph Hill came together to create a skate area for young people to play.
Sophie Beswick, Imogen Slater, Sarah Hews and Jacqui Shimidzu formed the Skate Park Action Group (SPAG) in October 2009 to campaign for a facility for young people in the area; spurred on initially by a joint concern that their sons were having to skate on the street due to a lack of facilities.
The group - which included skaters as well as the mums - recognised that there were lots of other young people in the area who were keen skaters but were having to travel to other areas or were using the local roads to practice their hobby.
Following a presentation by some of the young skaters involved, SPAG were awarded £1,000 by their local assembly to fund a consultation with local residents to see if there was support for the project. The consultation proved that there was enough local support and SPAG continued with their proposal to find a suitable local site.
At a meeting of the Telegraph Hill local assembly, members at the assembly voted in favour of the skate area (73 per cent supported it at a meeting attended by 292 people) and in December 2010 the young people from SPAG successfully presented their bid to Lewisham's Mayor and Cabinet for permission to build a skate area in the lower Telegraph Hill park.
This youth-led project was also successful in achieving additional primary sources of funding which was vital in funding the build of the skate area: £47,000 was awarded from the Youth Opportunities Fund and £44,000 was awarded from Community Spaces (part of the Big Lottery Fund).
And on Sunday 25 March 2012, the skate area was officially opened by the Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock and Lewisham Deptford MP Joan Ruddock.
Young people need positive things to do in their local areas and the skate area is a great new addition to the park. Thanks to the support we got from our local assembly we were able to engage with other residents and the skate area can now be used by all of the children growing up around here.
Jacqui Shimidzu (SPAG)