A mental health nurse has launched an ambitious project to bring an indoor skate park to Worthing.
James Peters has been a mental health nurse for 20 years and a keen skateboarder for even longer, and believes the social benefits of a skate park could be a boost for the town.
He said struggles with his own mental health had shown first hand the benefits of skateboarding and physical activity for young people as well as adults.
“Skateboarding has been the thing that’s saved my life, so I’m incredibly passionate about the sport and working with young people,” said the 42-year-old.
“It demonstrates the positive benefits of physical activity – building confidence, self esteem, determination, picking yourself up and getting back on the board.
“I also want to let people know how good these kids are. So many people that gravitate to skateboarding are excluded from other groups.
“But in skateboarding, everyone’s accepted. If you walk into a park with a skateboard, the chances are you will leave having spoken to someone.”
James’ plan is to open the skate park as a community centre, offering lessons and access for young people and adults.
He said he envisaged working with schools for extra-curricular sessions, helping young offenders and offering assistance to the NHS as a credible treatment aid.
Other activities could also be held in the centre, including parent-toddler sessions, yoga and exercise classes.
The empty Holy Trinity church in Shelley Road has been earmarked as a possible location by James, but discussions are ongoing.
A petition in favour of the non-profit skate park has received more than 600 signatures. View the petition here: www.change.org/p/worthing-and-adur-borough-council-worthing-needs-an-indoor-skate-facility-a-safe-space-for-kids-that-promotes-well-being