A SKATE night set up by a community campaigner has been expanded in a bid to get more youngsters off the streets.
Wyre Skate Night held at Thornton YMCA has gone from strength to strength since it was first organised six years ago by Coun Andrea Kay.
Some of the teenagers who have been involved from the very beginning are now qualified coaches and have learnt a host of new skills.
Jareth Thomas, 14, from Preston Street, Fleetwood, is the youngest coach involved.
He said: “I’ve been doing this for a year and it’s really helped me with speaking out and my leadership skills. I wasn’t a confident person before I came here - I didn’t have many friends and I was picked on, but all of that has changed because of this.”
The Victoria Road East venue now gives up its sports hall during a Friday and Saturday night from 7pm to 10pm after the sessions expanded to occupy more youngsters.
Flat pack ramps and half-pipes are built in the hall to give the skaters and rollerbladers the freedom to practice their skills and teach others.
Coach Jamie Norcliffe, 17, of Chestnut Gardens, Thornton, added: “I’ve been coming here since it started and it’s great.
“It gives us a place to stay in the winter and stops us from getting involved with the wrong people.
“The coaching course gave me all the skills that are going to be looked for in most jobs and I’ve met a lot of new people.”
Fellow boarder James Wilson, 16, of Larkholme Parade, Fleetwood, added: “I’ve got a lot of new skills from going down there, meeting new people and having fun.
“It’s a nice, warm place to go and everyone knows each other really well and anyone can come and skate.
“When we first started there was only a few ramps, but it’s changed a lot and now we have a couple of half pipes and more ramps.”
Coun Kay, who is the lead member for children and young people at Wyre council, said: “I’ve seen a lot of the young people that come here doing things like jumping over cars when they shouldn’t be, but this has really developed them.
“All the kids look after each other now they are part of a club.”