The former Guard’s Chapel of the Caterham Barracks Trust in Surrey, England has become an unlikely home to an indoor skate park filled with endless ramps, quarterpipes, and jump boxes.
The brainchild of a youth conference held in 1999, the place now known as Skaterham grew from an attempt to find out what the young people in the local area needed, and wanted. The answer, it was clear, was an imminently accessible park where everyone had a safe space to let out their energy and creativity.
From the very beginning, the kids themselves were consulted on every aspect of the design, creating a truly community-owned vibe to the repurposed military church. The space’s indoor and outdoor ramps in a wide variety of arrangements are open to anyone on skateboard, scooter, BMX, or inline skates. Sessions throughout the week are broken into time slots for each of the devices, subsequently arranged based on age or gender in order to allow for the greatest comfort for all skaters.
Now, over 15 years later, Skaterham’s members number more than 26,000. In addition to the skating facilities, the grounds also house a restaurant and a skate shop, covering all the bases necessary for the skaters’ safety and sustenance. To this day, just as from the beginning, Skaterham continues to be operated by young volutneers who manage matters from mundane issues of building maintenance to matters like ramp decoration, all with equal enthusiasm.