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Athelstaneford Skatepark Steering Group Consultation Report November 2011


Athelstaneford Skatepark Steering Group aimed to gather evidence of the need for a Skatepark in Athelstaneford . The group has met regularly and carried out some anecdotal research and fundraising with local people at their annual Gala Day. The Steering Group wished to take the consultation further with the local community using a creative community engagement technique and action research method ‘Planning for Real’© to ensure involvement from the start by local people of all ages in their community. Young people were invited to make the initial model of the recreation park. The model would then be used at a ‘Planning For Real’© community consultation fair-trade Coffee Morning event in November 2011. The young people made a model of their preferred site with support from the Athelstaneford Primary School (Parent Council), Athelstaneford Parish Church and Athelstaneford Village Hall Committee and ELC Community Learning & Development.

The Steering Group John Crawford Struan Bennett Greg Rory Armatage Rhuiraidh Bennett Susan Begg, Athelstaneford Parent Council Emily Armatage, (represents Athelstaneford on Haddington Community Council) Alastair Miller, Athelstaneford Village Hall Committee Catriona McKinnon, Headteacher, Athelstaneford Primary School Joanne Evans-Boiten, Minister, Athelstaneford Parish Church In attendance: Sandra King, Community Development Officer


Athelstaneford Athelstaneford is situated approximately 2 miles north of Haddington on the B1343. The village has a population of around 300 people.

Steering Group Aims Consult local people to obtain their views regarding the idea of a skatepark in Athelstaneford. Actively engage young people in their community. Raise awareness of the needs of young people in Athelstaneford. Attract support for the Athelstaneford Skatepark Steering Group. Provide a diversionary facilitiy to help combat anti-social behaviour and encourage young people to be active and increase their health and wellbeing.

Publicity Young people gave their ideas for a poster which they distributed to all households in the village. The event was also included in the Athelstaneford Web site and Athelstaneford Primary School web site.

Model making Athelstaneford Primary school offered space and art materials to youth members of the Steering Group to build their ‘Planning for Real’ ® 3D model of the recreation park, a potential site for a new skatepark. This was supported by the Community Development Officer who agreed to help facilitate the ‘Planning for Real ®’ consultation process. The model was built over 3 sessions using maps provided by East Lothian Council. The young people enjoyed building the model , adding their creative ideas and sharing their knowledge of the community.


Fair Trade Baking

The young people made tray bakes on the Friday before the event in Athelstaneford Village Hall. They worked effectively and enthusiastically as a team with Alastair and Emily from the Village Hall Committee. Ingredients were purchased from a small grant received to promote Fair Trade products which the Steering Group received via East Lothian Council.

Numbers Attending Over 53 people of all ages attended the Fair Trade Coffee Morning Event held on Saturday 19 November at Athelstaneford Village Hall from 10am-12noon (see Appendix 1 Poster).

The Consultation – Evidence of Need

The young people used their ‘Planning for Real’® 3D model of the park to engage people and asked where the skatepark should be located. They also used a ‘sticky wall’ and survey form to gather ideas and suggestions. The model helped local people identify the location and discuss the pros and cons of their choice. The young people noted all the preferred locations and the comments made.


The numbers correspond to locations marked on the model: Planning for Real Model速

1. Next to Tennis Courts

Number Requested 7

2. Middle of park


3. Far right in park


4. Far left in park


5. On the left of (the middle)


6. Big Park


Skatepark Location


The Survey 25 survey forms were completed at the event and over 20 responses added to the sticky wall: 1. Do you want a Skatepark in the village? YES 44 NO 0 MAYBE 1 2. Where would we locate a skatepark? East end of park x 3 Position number 6 on map Position 2 on map Position 3 on map x 4 In the playpark x 14 Playing field but not sure of position – might be useful to meet on the site and measure up. In the park, perhaps half way down and move the football pitch towards the east end. (gate should be closed though) either that or locate at roadside, next to swing park. Think BIG – use the Cogtail burn valley. In the park – site 5 on your model. At the top of the park next to the tennis courts. Far enough away from younger children/adults to allow a sense of freedom and independence, but near enough for supervision and emergency access in case of bullying/emergency/anti-social behaviour. Preferably in park – location Number 2 on map. So there is enough space and won’t impact on younger children running from each playpark. Far end east side of park. The skatepark should be located at the bottom end of the current playpark x2 In the park, at the end of the playing field, still leaving room for football, South east corner of playing field Turn football pitch around near number 3 and 4. Don’t have skatepark in the bottom corner because it is tucked away and unnoticed also could encourage bad behaviour e.g. drinking/smoking/bullying. Get lights and have the ½ pipe facing the road. Tennis court to goal post reduce size of football pitch Next to trees in the middle

3. What size of skatepark is needed? I’ll leave it to the experts!! Count the boys heads and multiply by 2! Approx half of the tennis court size The bigger the better x 4 A big one with BMX skateboards and scooters – access for all. 6

Maybe look at the size of other parks in the area (North Berwick, Haddington). Big enough to accommodate surface area for bikes and ramps. In the park but leave good sized space for other things like the Gala. What about designin park overall – areas for sitting, other types of play, meeting, outdoor bandstand for music etc. Not too big; think of hardstanding for other games like bicycles/ball games etc. Hopscotch. No feel for it really but it should be big enough to be for the kids and suitable for all ages of kids with skateboards, scooters, bikes etc. Large enough for village youths taking into account the likely future teen population. Large enough for village youths x 2 Perhaps a ½ pipe and couple of ramps x 5 With ramps etc x 2 One that leaves enough playing field for other sports. The size that would fit Big enough for all the kids not just a half pipe x 4 Half pipe x 2 Seating and lighting ½ pipe or ¼ pipe plus other ramps

4. Who would support us? Local land owners. Grant applications Local businesses x 2 Business connected with Haddington area x 2 Viridor Ikea x 3 (They have given Pathhead Hall an update with all new goods) Local Community x 9 East Lothian Council (hopefully some help from ELC) x 10 Community Council Awards for All – very likely to support this project – details online x 2 Big Lottery Fundraising event in the village x 3 Local residents and parents x 3 Sponsor from local business – East Lothian produce. Sports Scotland x 2 The Princes Trust (online) I’ll lend a shovel! I’d hope the people in the village including church, school, village hall committee, youth worker in North Berwick? Cilla Holland The school x 3 Local Police 7

Mr & Mrs Thomson The Hollands Our Mums Local families The Church

5. What facilities would you like in the village for children and young people? Youth bowls x 2 A Skatepark x 5 A Shop x 10 A cafe x 3 Promote walking in the area – walkers would like a cafe in the village after hunting all day for the Saltire. A pub Tennis club for young people Tennis Tournament x 2 A table tennis/pool room Post Office Youth Club (for all ages) x 7 Teenage Drop In Night (separate from youth club) x 3 Teenage Drama Club What would they like? Somewhere to play music? Include area for bikes/ramps attached to skatepark. What about a ‘hut’ can look quite nice – to be used for indoor games – youth club – drama – many ideas. Smaller football pitch and better kept. After school clubs x 2 Update the park Games A place to meet, skatebpark of course! I’d like to see more youth work done – however getting a regular meeting place. Youth work age groups P4-P7 and S1 upwards. Would be happy to get involved with this is something I used to do back in the day! (Kirsten Henderson) We need more adults to be involved! Clean the park. Not enough facilities for young people Need more for young people Dirt Track Nothing for young people in village Minimal activities for young people Park gets boring 8

Would like young people to be able to meet together in a safe location e.g. sometimes in village hall – drop in for example

Other Comments Never had any complaints at Haddington Skatepark where it is right next to the Tennis Courts. Need to ensure ambulance access to the park Access to toilets. Move the bottom goal posts up to make a 5-a-side football pitch and have the skatepark further down. Haddington Skatepark has had no litter, smoking, drinking or bad behaviour. Reduce size of football pitch to accommodate skatepark x 7 Keep away from tennis courts and housing as noise levels x 1 Tennis Courts are open to everyone. Change goal posts is a good idea – kids run from A to B How far out will it be? – not near the fence.

Outcomes Young People more experienced and involved in community engagement – successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. Increased knowledge of community needs Community groups working together e.g. school, Community Council, Village Hall Committee, Church Greater involvement from the community School engaged in community planning process – model making, knowledge of community Information gathered about facilities for children and young people Next Steps Take the model to other community groups and events. Meet with ELC on site to discuss outcome of consultation Report back findings to the community Prepare constitution and open bank account for Steering Group

Summary The ‘Athelstaneford Skatepark Steering Group ‘Planning for Real’ consultation went well and local people enthusiastically embraced the idea of a skatepark in their community. The community has been actively involved in the consultation process. 9

The evidence gathered from the consultation will enable the group to take ideas forward towards their overall goal. .......... from the Steering Group said “ “The boys did a great job making the model which really engaged people in discussing ideas for a skatepark. We are moving forward, the community really got behind the idea choosing their preferred location and giving their views on what type of facilities are needed for young people in Athelstaneford.” The consultation helped to increase community involvement by offering local people the opportunity to have a greater say in planning local facilities and improving their area. The process was as important as the outcome as it brought many people together who identified the gap in services for children and young people living in Athelstaneford. Local people were able to share their views and make suggestions to improve facilities.

Thanks to the Young People The Steering Group members have all been impressed with the commitment shown by the young people involved. They have gathered information, attended meetings and made a model to support their campaign for a skatepark in the village. They did baking and set up the hall on the Friday afternoon prior to the event. They turned up at 9am on the Saturday morning, and consulted with local people, communicating their ideas and engaging many adults in a discussion about the park and raised over £140. This was a wonderful achievement. Young people then helped set up for the church dance in the afternoon and returned in the evening to do a variety of jobs. They then trouped into the church on Sunday morning with their model and sold the remaining tray bakes adding a further £40 to their funds and continuing their consultation with members of the congregation.


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