Unit 1 Skatepark, also known as the ‘Rochester Indoor Skatepark Club,’ is a registered charity that was formed in 2007. We started out as a skateboarding charity, taking over the lease on the Unit 1 Skatepark building in 2008. Since forming we have evolved into a supervised venue for skateboarders, scooters, bmx and inline, where young people can improve their skills as well as socialise in a safe environment.
In recent years we have been made aware of the lack of family support experienced by some of the young people that attend our park, which has led to our involvement in helping link homeless youth with relevant authorities, or food banks and even rehabilitation centres. The lack of accommodation for those just over 18 years of age in Medway and the surrounding area has made this very difficult. We have, therefore, been looking into the possibilities of homeless shelters or rehabilitation centres and are liasing with other organisations to this end.
As many of our young people often struggle finding employment, we have forged links with the Princes Trust and often help them to complete work experience programmes with us, including Duke of Edinburgh schemes, to help with their employment prospects.
We receive little or no funding towards the high running costs on the building, however, in recent months young people through Medway Youth Trust have chosen to support this charity as they see the work we do with young people without the help of Government funding. They have fundraised for us on occasions and helped with artwork in the building and by advertising for us through social media. They have greatly helped us!
We are affiliated to the charity ‘Young Kent’ and obtain CRB checks, insurances etc through them.
We have received funding recently from Cllr Peter Homewood, Tonbridge and Malling District Council, for equipment so we can offer the facilities to scout groups, homeschool groups, autistic groups, youth clubs and schools.
The Richard Watts charity has also given us funding for ramp refurbishment along with the Tonbridge and Malling Community fund.