AFTER three years of fundraising, the friends and family of tragic Sam Gunstone unveiled the perfect tribute to him in Wimborne at the weekend.
A brand new skate facility was opened at Redcotts Recreation Ground in Wimborne by the town’s mayor, Cllr Andy Hampton.
More than £30,000 was raised towards the new ramp by members of The Gunstone Trust, established following the death of the 18-year-old three years ago.
Trustee Emma Godden said: “It’s a really big day for us, and we’re all so happy that this is happening.
“It has been three years of hard work to raise the money, but it’s so worth it. The Trust contributed £16,000 in donations to the project, but we were able to take the designs to the next level thanks to a donation from the town and district councils, which came to £15,000.”
Sam, a keen skater, was killed on the A31 in 2010 while on his way home from a party.
Emma said: “The trust is made up of friends and family.
“Sam’s mum and aunt are both trustees, and all the men who are involved used to skate with Sam. This just seemed like the perfect way to remember him.”
Fundraisers decided early on to replace the old ramp at the recreation ground with a new, state-of-the-art construction that can be used by skateboarders, BMX riders, inline skaters and scooter enthusiasts alike.
“That’s where everybody learnt to skate, including Sam,” said Emma.
“It already had an old ramp, but it had been there for about 20 years and because it was quite old, it made a lot of noise. The new ramp is much more modern, so it’s a lot quieter for residents, as well as being better for skaters.”
And although the Trust has fulfilled one of its earliest aims, Emma said there are no plans to slow down.
“When we first started three years ago, our first fundraising challenge was bag-packing at Sainsbury’s,” she said.
“We raised £400. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come, and we’d like to continue working with young people in the area. We have a big emphasis on personal development, and that’s a key aim for the future.”