YOUNGSTERS in Northumberland have been given a helping hand to get their skates on.
Rio Tinto Alcan has donated £1,000 to kick-start fundraising efforts to build a skate park at Lynemouth Recreation Ground.
Children currently have to travel to facilities in neighbouring villages or as far away as Newcastle if they want to practice their inline skating, scooter and BMX tricks.
A volunteer group of parents and grandparents recently joined together to coordinate fundraising efforts, and it is hoped the donation will encourage other local businesses and charitable organisations to come forward and donate funds and materials.
Local mum Amber Hume, is a spokesperson for the Lynemouth Skate Park Working Group.
She said: “We have a lot of children in the village between eight and 16 years-old who have a passion for using skateboard parks, whether they are on their BMX or scooter but they have no place to call their own.
“As a local community we decided to do something about it.
“We don’t want our kids having to ride their bikes or skate near busy main roads to use facilities outside the area.
“It’s still early days and we are delighted to have Rio Tinto’s support, which has helped to get the fund up and running.
“The kids have been really keen to help too.
“They’ve hosted cake sales, fancy dress parties and a disco to raise money and we’re also applying for a grant through the Big Lottery Fund.”
The group need to generate in the region of £85,000 for the design, materials and build, with a wish list that includes a half-pipe, quarter pipe, handrails and ramps.
Rio Tinto’s regional economic development assistant, Joanne Hannay, added: “When we received the request for assistance through our charitable fund with the Tyne and Wear and Northumberland Community Foundation we loved the idea.
“A facility like this will benefit Lynemouth village and the youngsters who live here for generations to come.”