Covers Timber & Builders Merchants has donated materials to help a Southampton family with special needs children to build a skateboard ramp in their garden.
Tracey Kerr, who lives in the town with her family, is a single mother to four children, two of whom, Kai and Aisha, have been diagnosed with Asperger’s – a brain development disorder that can affect social skills, behaviour and coordination. In addition to Asperger’s, Aisha is receiving cognitive therapy for PTSD and Kai suffers from epilepsy.
Aged 11 and 29, both children enjoy skateboarding which has successfully helped them to manage their condition, including releasing pent-up energy and emotions. The children regularly enjoy visiting the local skateboard park. However, their condition has meant they have often been the subject of bullying from others and this has prevented them from going.
Ms Kerr explained: “My children love the skateboard park and my 11-year old, Aisha, has encouraged, Kai, my 29-year-old, to get interested in skateboarding again. Unfortunately, their condition means they do not socialise very well and they have been the subject of hostility from other children using the facilities. As a result, they now fear going there. This prompted my 11-year-old to start saving her birthday and Christmas money to build her own ramp in our garden, but obviously building a skateboard ramp is a big project and large financial investment.
“I was over the moon when Mike from Covers in Southampton got in touch to say they could help. Their generous donation of materials has meant we have been able to create the skateboard ramp in our garden for my children and their small group of friends, who also have Asperger’s syndrome, to enjoy. This has allowed my daughter to put the money she had saved towards investing in proper footwear and a new skateboard that is suitable for her needs. The children are thrilled with the ramp. It’s so great to see them having fun and benefiting from their hobby again without the fear and anxiety of being bullied.”
Michael Sheath, Depot Manager of Covers Southampton, added: “It is an absolute pleasure to help Tracey and her children. We are delighted that the project has been such a success and we hope the children will relish skateboarding on their ramp for many years to come – they might even become skateboarding champions of the future