Skatepark & Skate School in the heart of Norwich

Community East CIC profile

Project by Community East CIC

Total raised £17,065

raised so far

239

supporters

To create a safe, inclusive indoor skatepark and skateboard school, providing physical & mental health/wellbeing opportunities for all

We're still collecting donations

On the 17th September 2022 we'd raised £16,642 with 231 supporters in 42 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Any extra monies raised that are not spent on the initial construction and conservation of heritage features will go towards new equipment and free skateboard sessions, enabling us to reach all in our community.


Who are we?

Community East was formed in 2020 to provide opportunities for people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and abilities to improve their physical health & mental wellbeing through skateboarding, art and all other related avenues.

The founding directors are Ashley Lever, former owner of Smash Skates skateshop in Beccles and currently Head Coach at ABC Skateboarding in Norfolk/Suffolk, and Sam Avery, owner of Drug Store skateshop in Norwich. After helping out in each other’s shops and with skateboard coaching we decided to work together to create a community-facing organisation to support the local skateboard scene.

We also now have a third director, Rob Willer. He has been an active part of the East Anglian skateboard and alternative music scenes for over two decades and has a proven track record in fundraising for local & national charitable projects, including mental health and suicide awareness charities.  

What are we trying to achieve?

Our first goal is to create a safe, inclusive indoor skatepark from which we can deliver skateboard lessons and create a community hub. During a search very much hindered by the pandemic, we were made aware of St Peter Parmentergate Church and could instantly see the terrific potential. A lengthy planning process followed - but now that we have all relevant permissions, we have signed a 10-year lease with the Norwich Historic Churches Trust.

In recent months, Sam has set up Drug Store Skateshop in the space while we work hard on fundraising for the skatepark itself. This has opened the space up to the public, so they too can learn about our vision and engage with the amazing heritage features displayed within. 

Why are we crowdfunding?

In order to construct the initial phases of the skatepark, while protecting the main heritage features within the church, we need around £15,000. We are actively applying to funding providers, but all support we can receive from our community will mean so very much. 

We first need to install a floating floor across the nave and erect protective wooden panelling to protect the stone outer walls. We will have fixed quarter-pipes at one end, flat banks at the other and ledges running down each side. In the second phase, modular ramps will  be built to fill the space, creating a flexible and constantly changeable skatepark.

 Below are some 3D renders showing the first phase concept.

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Below is an example of the type of acrylic screens we need to cover important heritage features. However, ours will need to be larger, stronger and fixed into the floor, hence the relatively high costs :1659352372_photo-2022-07-31-12-33-34.jpg

How we’ll spend the money raised

Build costs - £11,000

Acrylic screens - £4,000

Any monies left over from this first phase construction will be put towards equipment and free skateboarding lessons for those in need. 

We can then open our doors and start raising funds for future phases, including the addition of modular ramps to the central space, creating a cafe and skateboard library/exhibition space and supporting members of our skateboard scene with related projects in their local areas - exciting times ahead!!

Making a Difference in our Community

Skateboarding brings people together. It transcends generations, supports those from all genders and ethnic backgrounds and celebrates everyone’s involvement, no matter what your skill level. Our park will become a hub for this scene. 

Skateboarding's popularity has grown markedly nationwide, especially amongst female participants, and our area is no exception. Whilst outdoor public skateparks do meet some of this demand, they are restricted by weather conditions and, as a public space, cannot secure the safety of users as easily. We will offer a controlled indoor facility all year-round and in all weathers; additionally, all our staff and volunteers will be appropriately trained in safeguarding and first-aid.

By having our own space, we can offer coaching sessions tailored to the needs of specific groups and individuals. For example, we will run shorter, more play-based sessions for under 5's; more relaxed, unstructured sessions for adults just wanting to test out a new activity or get back into a sport they enjoyed in their youth; and create smaller groups in a calm, secure setting for those with additional needs. 

Although we will charge for lessons, we also intend to provide some lessons free at the point of delivery to those who need it most. Latest data for our area shows 23% of children are living in low-income families and Norwich is amongst the lowest quintile score for deprivation across the East and the UK as a whole.

NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) statistics sit at 6.2% for men aged 16-17, and 4.8% for women. Employment is higher than in the wider eastern region, but despite the presence of a leading University, fewer people work in the 3 most highly-skilled occupations than the UK average - suggesting under-employment and "low-pay-low skill" employment. As a community hub, we will provide opportunities for employment and experience - not only in skateboarding, but through many related avenues, including the arts, heritage and retail.

The building itself is a key historical venue in the city. We are fully committed to keeping all heritage features on display, protected where necessary behind bespoke acrylic screens, and will work closely with our wonderful landlords, The Norwich Historic Churches Trust (NHCT), to conserve them on into the future. The church has not been regularly open to the public for almost a decade, so this will give previous visitors a chance to see this church in a new light, as well as bringing a whole new audience in to understand more about the heritage of their local area.

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How our project will be United By Birmingham 2022

We want to create a lasting local legacy inspired by the core principles of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Bringing people together
An indoor, inclusive space in the heart of the region's main city, with easy access not only by car but by public transport links and active travel. We hope that being open year-round, and in all weathers, will help to galvanise skateboarding in our area. We are already blessed with a very strong scene of core skateboarders, who give up their time to organise events across Norfolk and Suffolk. Our space will not only support their efforts, but give so many more opportunities to bring existing skateboarders together and introduce many more to such an exciting and creative sport.

Improving health and wellbeing
Skateboarding is a wonderful way to stay active. As an individual sport, the main challenge is between you and the board under your feet. With this in mind, you are in control of the intensity of your activity, making it accessible to all. You also "get out what you put in", developing key characteristics like perseverance and resilience. Research by Instinct Laboratory & Flo Skatepark showed that 'individuals who partake in skating stated they do so to reduce boredom, provide them with escapism, help them to build their confidence and use skateboarding as a coping mechanism for their emotions.' (skateboardgb.org, 2020) . This corresponds to a huge growth in the popularity of skateboarding since the start of the pandemic, with a rise of over 70,000 people in the UK participating in the sport, with the largest growth being with females getting on a board for the first time. This is also a positive story against the backdrop of increases in anxiety, stress and boredom attributed to the Covid lockdowns.
Regretfully, the suicide rate in Norwich is significantly higher than the England average (at 15.4 per 100,000 compared to 10.8 per 100,000 (2018-20)). The proven mental health benefits of skateboarding and related creative activities can only help to support those in crisis, and our staff will undergo relevant mental health and safeguarding training.

Helping the region grow
Due to its more rural, isolated position off the main spine of the UK, our region has sadly often been overlooked when it comes to large sporting events, general media coverage of projects and support from larger corporate organisations. Norwich and its surroundings have an extremely rich skateboarding heritage, dating back well into the 1970s, producing not only numerous professional skateboarders but also many individuals who have gone on to make important impacts on creative industries related to our sport.
We want to both celebrate this history and also to continue putting our region on the map. Our vision is not limited to this one space in the main city. Once established in our central base, we will work closely with community groups across the area to support the construction of public outdoor skateparks in their local towns and villages (already working with Beccles, Bungay and Southwold to name a few), look to create further indoor spaces in more under-served areas of our region (such as Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth), and liaise with schools and councils to widen the reach and appeal of skateboarding throughout East Anglia and beyond.

Being a catalyst for change
We had been working hard to promote skateboarding in our region for well over two decades before we came together as Community East. We want to continue this through this organisation, but are not getting any younger! We will bring the next generation on-board, through volunteering, work experience and employment opportunities, inspiring them to take up the baton and empowering them to make a difference locally: not just through skateboarding, but through any other community projects in which they have an interest or passion. For example, meeting and working with local councils may motivate them to become the councillors of the future, enacting change across the whole of their community and giving a voice to a whole new section of their society.

How you can play your part

There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.

1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!

2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.

3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!

4. Create a fundraiser of your own. Use the button on our page to get started. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!

 

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Rewards

This project offered rewards

£30 or more

Owen Mathers "Outside St Pete's" Print

A nice Giclee print of Owen Mathers watercolour and ink painting of the outside of our space. Edition of 10 printed by the artist himself.

£5 or more

DRUG STORE Postcard sized drawing

A postcard sized drawing by Sam Avery, owner of DRUG STORE Each one will be a one-off artwork

£5 or more

Sticker Pack

A random selection of skate stickers and/or other small gift items such as keyrings, wristbands, pins etc

£20 or more

Vans Kids Chima Pro Skateboard Shoes Black/White

A pair of brand-new kids Vans skateboard shoes from the pro skate range. Available in limited sizes - UK2, UK5, UK5.5 and UK6

£20 or more

Vans Kids "Authentic" Skate Shoes, All-Black

Kids size Vans Authentic skate shoes in all-black. Available in UK2.5 (EUR34) or UK3 (34.5)

£20 or more

Lakai Kids "Owen" Slip-on Skate Shoes, Blue

A pair of kids Lakai skateboard shoes. The Owen is a fully skateable slip-on style. Blue suede with yellow highlights and white sole. Available in UK2, UK4 & UK5

£25 or more

Community East Bronze Package

Community East care package: 1x Community East T-Shirt, Sticker Pack

£30 or more

Owen Mathers "Inside St Pete's" Print

A nice Giclee print of Owen Mathers watercolour and ink painting of the inside of our space. Edition of 10 printed by the artist himself.

£30 or more

James Jarvis “Tom” A4 Riso Print

A beautiful Riso print of Tom O’Driscoll drawn by the legendary James Jarvis and printed here in Norwich by Rizzo Studio. Edition of 50

£50 or more

Decimal Skate Shop Hoody

A lovely LARGE white hoody from our mate Gaz at Decimal Skate Shop in Cirencester. Comes with a free digital usb video of their own Corinium banger! fancy. Always support Skater Owned - decimalstore.com

£75 or more

Community East Silver Package

Community East Silver Package: 1x Community East T-Shirt, 1x Voucher for 5-week group coaching course once the park is open, Sticker Pack

£120 or more

Owen Mathers "Inside St Pete's" Original Artwork

An Original A4 watercolour and ink drawing by our wonderful friend Owen Mathers!

£120 or more

Owen Mathers "Outside St Pete's" Original Artwork

An Original watercolour and ink painting by our good mate Owen Mathers!

£200 or more

Community East Gold Package

Community East Gold Package: 1x Community East T-Shirt, 1x Voucher for 5-week coaching course once the park opens, 6-months unlimited free entry to park for public sessions, Sticker Pack, and... your name laser-etched onto our supporters wall, which will be mounted on the side of the skatepark!

£350 or more

Community East Platinum Package

Community East Platinum Package: 1x Community East T-Shirt, 2x Vouchers for 5-week coaching courses once the park opens, 6-months unlimited free entry to park for public sessions, Sticker Pack, and... your name laser-etched onto our supporters wall, which will be mounted on the side of the skatepark!

£5 or more

Wesley Brown pot-luck print

Pot-luck print from Wes’ show “Death Metal Bunting” at Drug Store. A4 print on coloured paper. Add a little colour to your wall without sacrificing your metal credibility! Which gory good-un will you get?

£5 or more

Barely Coping Skate wax

Handmade to a secret recipe, slip in a fiver to the Crowdfunder and slide for miles.

£10 or more

SCUM 'dad' cap from Doom and Gloom. (grey)

Inspired by the classic Love Park sign. Bound to spark up a conversation on the school run or office night out.

£15 or more

Custard Shop Bucket hat

Perfect summer hat from the Custard Shop crew! Why not grab the pink shirt listed as well?

£20 or more

Altar Skateshop T-Shirt

A t-shirt from Dartford's finest skater-owned emporium Altar Skateshop - www.altarskateshop.co.uk

£20 or more

DRUG STORE £20 Gift Card

£20 to spend in Drug Store on whatever you like

£20 or more

Noisy Hammer T-shirt black/white + stickers

Black or white T-Shirt from our buddies at Noisy Hammer. Amazing Norfolk based company building custom guitar amps and cabs, as well as a whole range of cool stuff! They echo the DIY ethos of our skate community and are always happy to support. Just let us know colour and size! www.noisyhammer.com

£20 or more

Haircut with The Boosh

This reward entitles you to one haircut with Boosh at Coterie Barbers, Bridewell Alley, Norwich. Get yourself looking sharp and have the feeling of making a difference in your community! www.coteriebarber.com

£20 or more

Custard shop 'scrabble' shirt (large)

Lovely Salmon Pink T in size LARGE with Scrabble inspired artwork from the awesome crew at Custard Shop!

£20 or more

Doom and Gloom T-shirt (large/black)

Large black T-shirt from Norwich based company Doom and Gloom. Go check them out!

£20 or more

Doom and Gloom Longsleeve (Black/medium)

'Bad Luck' tattoo style pink print on black longsleeve from our mates at Doom and Gloom. Size MEDIUM!

£25 or more

Rizzo Studio £25 Print Voucher

A voucher for some lovely RISO printing from Rizzo Studio.

£35 or more

POP Beauty Gel Nails

This reward entitles you to one set of gel nails with detailed nail art by POP Beauty Norwich. A rare chance to get an appointment without being a regular! Appointments would be booked September onwards. Instagram @popbeautynorwich Usual price is £37 each

£40 or more

Private Skateboard Lesson

Private 1-hour skateboard lesson for up to 2 people at a local skatepark in the Norwich area with Ash, Company Director of Community East CIC and Head Coach at ABC Skateboarding (Norfolk/Suffolk). All equipment provided.

£50 or more

Barely Coping Package

Look fresh in this garment package from the Barely Coping Skate Club! 1x T-Shirt. 1x Crew/Hoodie. 1x Tote Bag. Stickers. RRP = £65!

£50 or more

DRUG STORE £50 Gift Card

£50 to spend on anything you like from DRUG STORE

£60 or more

DRUG STORE "Lotus Cup" 9" Skateboard Deck

Hand screen printed DRUG STORE deck 9" wide Graphic by Will Gaynor (Quasi skateboards, White Denim) Free Jessup Griptape if required

£100 or more

Focus Skateshop Gift Card

A £100 online gift voucher to spend on whatever your heart desires at Scotland's premier skater-owned store Focus Skateshop - www.focuspocus.co.uk

£100 or more

Grandma Skateboards deck - Limited Edition 23/50

Grandma Skateboards Daniel Lutheran (Toy Machine) limited edition 23/50 skateboard Deck. One of a kind, hand made deck featuring artwork by professional skateboarder Daniel Lutheran. Made specifically for skate shops around the world to raffle off for Charity in 2021. Re-donated by the winner to support Community East, this is numbered and stamped. Great video all about these boards on Grandma skateboards youtube channel.

£100 or more

Black Plague Tattoo Gift Card

£100 to spend with the LEGEND Nelson Graf Reis at Black Plague Tattoo in Norwich. www.blackplaguetattoo.co.uk

£300 or more

God's Pee Kona Hahanna 1997 Single Speed Bike

A one-off custom built retro MTB from @gods_pee_ 1997 Kona Hahanna Frame and P2 fork, 19" size Single speed drivetrain for simplicity and maximum fun X-lite riser bars for comfort and some retro spice Schwalbe Land Cruiser Tyres, good off-road and on the streets SDS Leather Saddle Shimano Acera X Brakes and Hubs laced to Sun Rims AT18 Plenty of nice anodised bling Super fun ride on streets or trails Available to view at DRUG STORE now

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