Dulux’s Let’s Colour project has empowered and upskilled a team of local young people by involving them in the transformation of a Kings Lyn skatepark, a vital community space for local youths, alongside long-term partner Volunteer It Yourself (VIY).
The 5 strong group of young volunteers from around the area , took on the challenge of breathing new life into the 16-year-old venue, which is also GBR Skateboarding Champion Joe Hinson’s training ground.
As part of the project, the young people painted KASET, the skatepark and music venue in Kings Lyn, which since 2006 has provided a safe indoor space for young people to meet and learn how to perform skateboard and BMX tricks.
The work at KASET marked the third year of Dulux Let’s Colour and VIY partnered projects to help young people from challenging backgrounds learn trade skills. The partnership aims to instill practical skills and confidence in young people with the support of trade mentors. The mentors spend time with young people to pass on practical and life skills through the transformation of vital community spaces.
Volunteer It Yourself Head Mentor Imran Younas, who was the first official teacher at VIY, said: “When the kids arrive on a live project such as KASET, it’s very hands on from the start and we get them working straight away. We embrace mistakes because we believe this is how people learn best. By the end of the project the youth go away with a can-do attitude, they’ll feel accomplished and proud of what they’ve achieved”
Alison Furness, Dulux Let’s Colour Marketing Manager said “Helping young people and their communities flourish has been Let’s Colour’s priority for over a decade. Young people who are involved, help to transform lives by uplifting the communities they live in and making living spaces more fun, liveable and enjoyable. Together with our partners and through the power of paint, we have transformed 50 rundown community spaces and helped train over 300young people.”
KASET venue manager Tom Clabon said: “Our community loves the fact that we’re here. We’re based in a predominantly social housing estate, and we have a lot of young teenagers coming in all the way up to young adults. This is a sharing space for knowledge, it’s like a brotherhood that brings us all together, whether you’re riding scooters BMXs or skateboards, it doesn’t matter who you are. You just come and join your friends.
“Having fantastic partners like Dulux Let’s Colour and VIY working with us really helps to boost KASET and revamp the space. It will really benefit our community, and we’ve been dying for something new here for people to learn on. It’s awesome to have the community come and engage and be part of the process.”
Someone who knows the importance of the venue is GBR Skateboarding Champion Joe Hinson, who first came to KASET when he was 12. A self-professed troublemaker in his youth, having been kicked out of school for bad behaviour, Hinson said venues like KASET are important community spaces and keep young people off the streets.
“It’s important for young people to have something to do, there’s not a lot to do around here but lots of stuff you can get into trouble with,” said Hinson. “KASET is important because it’s somewhere safe for kids to go, somewhere they can spend hours and days trying tricks.”
KASET is still used by the athlete to train on a weekly basis, and he believed having young people involved in community transformation projects such as those spearheaded by Dulux’s Let’s Colour helps people take ownership of the areas they live in.
He said: “If someone came in and built it, then there’s no pride in it. But if young people can help to transform the spaces, help paint it, then it gives them something to do and teaches them skills to use later in life.
“If I was younger, I’d love to have been involved in a project like this. When I was younger, I’d be daydreaming and doing all sorts of things I shouldn’t have been, but skateboarding gave me something to focus on.”