11 November 2019
Young people in the northwest of the island can once again kickflip, bigspin and boardslide now that the skate ramp at St Ouen’s Youth Club has reopened.
The ramp, which has been a popular feature for the parish and youth club since it opened 14 years ago, has been out of action for six months while work was undertaken to refurbish it.
The parish used money bequeathed by the late Alfred Edward Le Boutillier, who left substantial funds to the Parish of St Ouen before he died. Work to restore the skate ramp has included fixing the surrounding fencing and repairing wear and tear accumulated over the past 14 years.
The Constable of St Ouen, Richard Buchanan, said: “The skate ramp is a valuable facility for the youth of the parish, and attracts young people from other parishes. It is a popular space for young people to socialise and exercise.”
The skate ramp, which is based at St Ouen Youth and Community Centre, will be officially reopened this evening [11 November] by the parish’s Procureur du Bien Public, Allan Quenault.
Mr Quenault said: “We are delighted to be reopening this popular facility, which is of great benefit to the parish. We are pleased that, through the generosity of Mr Le Boutillier, we have been able to improve such important parish facilities.”
The Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois, said: “The department for Children, Young People, Education and Skills values the partnership it has with parishes and other organisations to enhance our provision for young people.”
Assistant Youth Worker Emily Pinel said that the refurbishment would not have been possible without the support of the parish’s Constable and Community Centre management committee. She added that the parish’s youth club members, which total around 110 young people, and youngsters living in St Ouen and beyond were looking forward to the skate ramp’s return.
“The skate ramp was installed after planning and research revealed a need in the area for young people to use their skateboards and scooters,” she said. “It has become a place where young people in the parish and from other parishes meet to hang out day and night to practice their skills.
“When the skate ramp closed earlier this year for refurbishment many young people were sad that they weren’t able to access the skate ramp. It is a daily activity for many that live in the parish, which provides exercise and a place of socialisation for the young people. St Ouen is fortunate to have the space to provide such an activity which is a growing hobby that is enjoyed by many.”
Paul Battrick MBE, Chairman of St Ouen’s Community Centre management committee, said: “The youth club is a very important part of the community centre and we’re so pleased to see the ramp has reopened. We wish all the users many hours of pleasure and congratulate Emily, our youth worker, for all her work in achieving this.”