New shelter takes pride of place at Bishop's Castle skate park

A councillor who is championing the needs of young people in Bishop's Castle is delighted by the support he is getting for projects in the town.

The red shelter at the skate park
The red shelter at the skate park

Retired senior probation manager Andy Stelman has set his sights on helping to revive youth services in the town to help tackle issues of social isolation and mental heath.

Latest in a growing list of achievements is the installation of a red shelter in the town's skate park, after young people in the town said they would like a place to sit down.

The town council chipped in £6,000 for the structure which was created by local metalworker Matt Maddox after young people approved the design.

Councillor Stelman, aged 74, says he is retired and has time to spare to "nag people" and fill in application forms for grants.

"Between this and the food bank I seem to spend a lot of time filling in forms," said Councillor Stelman, who has been on the council for two and a half years.

"Most of the time it is pushing against an open door but I am also very nerdy and enjoy doing this kind of thing to see how much I can get for the town."

He added: "Bishop's Castle is full of wonderful, quirky, generous and creative people - it's amazing. It is not difficult to generate interest and support. The town council was very generous with its £6,000 for the shelter."

The town council is working in partnership with the South Shropshire Youth Forum and recently won an £18,000 grant from Severn Trent Water's Community Fund to help create a drop-in centre for young people.

It looks like the drop in centre will be at the former Stars newsagent in the town centre, with an official opening sometime next month.

Money has also been given from other grant awarding bodies for youth workers to spend some time in the town.

Councillor Stelman said funding for youth services across the country had been reduced by about 70 per cent over the last decade, and this had been reflected in Bishop's Castle. He added that a youth co-ordinator has just been appointed and more details would be coming after the Easter break.

"It is only the beginning," said Councillor Stelman.

"We want to make sure that the youth work continues after the initial 12 months.

"And soon money for a popular open mic night will be running out shortly, so we will have to find replacement funding for that."

Developments also include placing a memorial bench at the skate park where a couple used to chat to young skaters on their daily walk.

Pat and Gordon Wainwright used to pass Bishop's Castle 's skate park every day, talking to the children there and enjoying the walk through the park.

After her husband passed away, Pat approached the town council to install a memorial bench there so she can continue to see the children and her husband could be remembered in his favourite place.

After getting permission from Bishop's Castle Town Council, Pat bought a bench that would serve as a reminder of her husband in their favourite place and also provide children who use the skate park with somewhere to sit.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News