A Leigh mum has praised her son after he lodged a petition with Southend Council to build a skatepark.

Joshua Lewsey, who turned 13 on Wednesday, is seeking for a skatepark to be built in Oakwood Park.

The move comes as nearby parks’ skate ramps have become run down. The nearest skatepark to Joshua’s Leigh home is an hour’s walk away.

With other teenagers spending the coronavirus pandemic constantly staring at screens while home-schooling and playing video games, Joshua’s mum, Lauren Chalk, is proud of the youngster for looking to benefit the community in these tough times.

She said: “Joshua first started skating lessons close to two years ago, but he has only been able to enjoy two or three lessons in the last year because of Covid.

“He set up the petition all by himself and it was his idea.

“With skating being his passion, he went onto Facebook and asked if people would be interested in a skatepark being built for the people of Eastwood and Leigh to enjoy.

“One of the people responded by saying to get in touch with the council and he did straight away.

“His passion and insistence on wanting to build something that will benefit others as well as himself is amazing. I’m so proud of him.”

Lauren is overjoyed to see her son showing his maturity at such a young age.

She added: “The last year has been difficult for everyone and children are staring at their screens all day nowadays.

“There are not many teenagers who would submit a petition, so it’s nice to see Joshua going against the grain in this instance.”

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Joshua insists a skatepark in Oakwood Park would prove beneficial for the town and its residents.

The FitzWimarc School pupil said: “In the area near Progress Road, there are no skateparks that haven’t become run down.

“That means the nearest one, at the moment, is an hour’s walk away, so it would be great to get a new skatepark built.

“I love skating because it takes my mind off things.

“Skating is good for children to learn at a young age and I’m hoping many people will join me if the petition is approved.”

Visit uk.gofundme.com/f/skate-project-for-oakwood-park to donate towards the potential skatepark.

To sign the petition, head to you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/skatepark-in-oakwood-park.

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