Brash Skate & Create the social enterprise championing the universal benefits of boarding

Brash Skate and Create is a non-profit organisation providing skateboarding and creative sessions for children, young people and adults.

The aim is to run sessions for schools, youth groups, colleges, day centres, care centres, women’s groups and children’s homes paid for by organised events, private parties, individuals and kind donations. For now, proceeds raised go directly back into the project to pay for sessions with disadvantaged communities in the UK, and one day, abroad.

I got into skateboarding backwards. I obsessed over the illustrative art made by The Outcrowd Collective - a collective of skatey creative types - and decided I wanted to make art like that, but it wasn’t until I was 19 that I picked up a board and began skating myself.

I moved to London in 2009 and was instantly inspired by the arty shredders there. I started Brash – a skateboarding and art zine. I wanted to include more content from girls, but didn’t actually know many!

I tried my hardest to keep the zine equal in terms of gender as I didn’t want a ‘girls only’ vibe similar to the ‘all-boys-club’ skate magazines in this very male-dominated culture. Now, girls are promoting themselves relentlessly through social media, filming their moves and organising countless events.

I work with Boardettes as a skate coach and have helped teach girls the basics. It’s awesome to see everyone feeding off the hype and giving each other the much needed confidence boost. Boardettes hosted the first-ever Brash zine-workshop earlier this year and Brash has since ran more at events over the Summer. At the moment, it’s about spreading the word and asking support of friends, family and the public; financially or otherwise.

dropping in at Boardettes Seaside Sessions. photo credit: Teresa Geer

Whilst studying Illustration I became a skate coach in East London and worked with young people there for four amazing years. As a relatively academic ‘good-girl’ raised in a white middle-class town, working with teenagers in Tower Hamlets came as a shock. I began to realise the desperate need for an alternative kind of education. The youth club where I worked, Urban Adventure Base, offered some hope of this - with plenty of outdoor activities including Skate Club.

Over the last few years, I have volunteered with The Flying Seagull Project, a charity who work with widely varying groups in several countries to help bring happiness to people through arts, music and crafts. They have been a huge influence on the ideologies of Brash Skate and Create.

For the past year I have been lucky enough to teach skateboarding at a primary school with Special Educational Needs. All children, specifically those with SENs, find activities like skateboarding, stimulating and exciting and therefore perform better in the classroom. Skating is moving forward in a new and concrete direction. Many individuals and organisations are using skateboarding as a humanitarian tool to teach new and interesting skills, along with eradicating undesirable attitudes. Brash Skate and Create aims to provide alternative education, to give those not academically minded a chance at life, with skateboarding and creative pursuits in mind. It encourages girls, boys, men and women to all learn together and encourage each other simultaneously. Brash aims to inspire and fill those with joy, no matter where and who they are in the world. Skateboarding and art is health and happiness. It brings inclusiveness, engagement and social change.

Harriet making zines with children at Forgotten Fields Festival
zine-making with children at Forgotten Fields Festival

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