Onboard Skatepark, Sheffield

Onboard Skate Park in Sheffield opened in 2012 to help young people fulfil their potential and improve their lives. Through healthy, recreational activities and educational programmes, young people at Onboard grow in confidence, self-esteem and learn essential life skills..

Recent funding from the  YVP programme and further funding from Comic Relief has allowed the social enterprise to fund one part time project manager and one part time staff member to help grow and sustain the skate park. In its second year the park had over 4,000 users registered, which has continued to rise and an estimated 60% of these come from disadvantaged areas or backgrounds.

With the funding support from South Yorkshire Community Foundation the staff team are now able to run programmes and group sessions tailored to the specific needs of disadvantaged members of the park and are expecting to help an estimated 200 young people. The programmes include sports lessons, bike maintenance and photography.

The funding has also enabled the Onboard team to buy a new computer and monitoring and data system, allowing staff and volunteers to monitor the uptake of their services and the impact on each individuals progression.

The funding has really been a blessing. We have also been able to afford some advertising which has enabled us to access schools around Sheffield to encourage more young people to come to the park. The support we have had from South Yorkshire Community Foundation has been cracking for us. We had a homeless boy come to us recently suffering from Schizophrenia. Through attending the groups, we have helped him find safe accommodation and he has been with us for over six months now. In this time he has grown in confidence and has gained skills which have helped him to go on to start an apprenticeship. He just needed that security, people he could share his struggle with and he’s come so far since he first came to us

Amy Cooper, Director of Onboard

After a successful first few years, Onboard hope in the near future to be able to create a model that will allow centres to open across South Yorkshire. In the short term the team want to start tackling the issue of legal highs and drugs and begin educating young people about the risks and how it could affect their emotional and physical development.