Sylvia Beaufoy Youth Centre is ‘not the right place’ for Petworth skatepark

The Sylvia Beaufoy youth centre
The Sylvia Beaufoy youth centre

In a statement issued following the public meeting Petworth Youth Association has reiterated its support for a skatepark saying it would be an ‘asset to the town and community’.

But members of the association added “However, we do not think that the Sylvia Beaufoy Car Park is the correct location for this facility.”

The statement continued: “As trustees charged with responsibility for, and management of, the centre we are concerned at the close proximity of the skatepark to the youth centre.

“We believe inevitably the club would become the first port of call in the

event of any accident or incident.

“This would put demands on already stretched staff and could put the youth club users at risk.

“The club is much more than a venue for table tennis and pool, which is often

the common perception of a typical youth club.  

“Staff at the club deal with a range of issues during the evening from organising games and activities, to providing emotional support for vulnerable young people and ensuring that all of the members are safe and behaving appropriately.

“This is already a challenge in a building with multiple spaces to oversee. Adding an outside skate facility to this would add another space over which we would have no authority. This would add huge pressure to an already stretched staff team.

“On a typical night we can have up to 20-30 young people in attendance with

two staff and usually a volunteer, and we cannot operate as we need to below

this ratio.

In addition the association said it had concerns about the safety of the skatepark at the entrance to the car park.

“Any skatepark on such a restricted site would give little space within it for users to gather to chat and socialise and this would inevitably happen outside the fencing - at the entrance to the car park.

“We believe that there are two distinct questions: 1. Does Petworth want/need a skatepark? - We would say an emphatic yes. 2. Is the Sylvia Beaufoy car park the right venue?  We would say a definite ‘no’.

“We would welcome the opportunity to contribute to finding a way forward – the young people of Petworth deserve it.”

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