Teens ramping up skatepark campaign in Exton

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A determined group of youngsters from Rutland have been pulling out all the stops to raise funds for a new skating ramp in their village.

The young people from Exton set to work after being told they needed to raise £2,500 of the £10,000 total required, if they are to stand a chance of getting a half-pipe installed in the Spinney near the playing fields, in Garden Road.

Armed with prizes donated by generous businesses they will kick-start their fundraising at Exton bazaar on Sunday, with the aim of making as much of their target amount as possible to get the ball rolling for the project.

The new half-pipe is to replace a 12-year-old wooden ramp that had to be removed after it rotted.

Luke Maidan, 17, has been leading the drive along with his friends and sister Charlotte, 20.

Luke, a New College Stamford student, said: “There’s nothing in the village for the young generation to do. All the play equipment in the park are for children. So we’re trying to get the old half-pipe that used to be here replaced.”

The playing fields are run by members of the Play Action Group Exton.

Mick Bell, current member and former chairman said: “The young people approached us to say they wanted the half-pipe replaced. It costs around £10,000. From experience we know that you stand a better chance of getting a grant from the Lottery, for example, if you’ve worked for it.

“So we suggested that they raise a quarter of the total amount.

“We’ve been very encouraged by their attitude. They’ve managed to get some excellent raffle and tombola prizes and they’ve put up posters telling people about the bazaar.

“We were happy to give them advice but they’ve had to do some of the work and they’re doing really well.”

The youngsters efforts included writing to local business, which has already resulted in several offers such as a £50 voucher from Lands’ End, golf and a meal for four people from Greetham Valley Golf Club and a voucher for tea, coffee and cakes to sell at the bazaar from Tesco and will be part of the tombola and raffle prizes on the day.

Mr Bell said the response to the bazaar from villagers, too, had been excellent and he was confident the youngsters would do well at the event.

The bazaar will be held at Exton Village Hall from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday.

There will be stalls, table top sale, face painting, tombola and raffle as well as face painting for children and afternoon teas.

Admission costs 50p, with children admitted free.

To support the youngsters fundraising drive contact Mr Bell on 01572 812594.

lWork has begun on a new skatepark in Uppingham. Waste Recycling Environmental Limited, known as Wren, approved a bid for £74,000 from Uppingham Town Council for improvements to Tods’ Piece.

The council will replace the old wooden skate ramps with a more permanent concrete structure. The wooden ramps have already been knocked down and the ground is being prepared for the new park.