With its skate ramps, tuck shop and big screen TV to play video games, it’s no surprise young people in Ashford love to hang out at Sk8side Youth Centre.

The centre gives young people the chance to take part in daily fun activities, also providing support on issues including mental health, sexual health and employment.

In addition, Sk8side offers its young volunteers opportunities to gain work experience by running the skate shop and tuck shop located within the centre. Youngsters learn how to stock-take, answer the phone, balance the books and order new products.

Thirteen year-old Owen Hatch is a Sk8side volunteer who helps run the tuck shop. We had a chat with Owen to find out what Sk8side means to him.

How long have you been going to Sk8side and why do you like hanging out there?

I’ve been coming to Sk8side for just over a year. It gives me something to do, I like getting involved in the running of the tuck shop and helping around the centre.

Do you feel working in the tuck shop has helped you develop new skills? If so, what are they?

It has improved my confidence and my understanding of the key features of a shop. I do the ordering, stock takes, cashing up and restocking. I hope to put my work here on my CV to give me a better chance of getting a job.

What would you say to a new person looking to join Sk8side? Why should they come?

You should come because there are always trips and activities going on, you can meet new people and it’s more fun than lounging around at home.

Do you have a skater icon?

I don’t really skate but I used to use my BMX. Now I enjoy just using the youth centre

What are your other interests and hobbies?

I am a bit of a car fanatic! My ideal car would be a Nissan GTR

During the school holidays, how would you spend a typical day?

This year I visited my Dad in Somerset. Normally I help out around the house, pop to town to see mates and go to the youth centre.

Click here to read more about Sk8side

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