NOT-for-profit skate shop Janice Earth is back up and running in Rosebud, months after owner Lenny Richardson found himself “homeless”.
The skate enthusiast and competition organiser said a generous supporter and local businessman reached out to him after reading about his plight in The News and offered a shared premises at 1355 Point Nepean Road (Skate ‘promoter’ wants to return, 28/9/23).
Richardson says he can now get back to his business of helping others and supporting young people in and around Rosebud, including 14-year-old skater Gil Shachar.
Richardson has operated the Janice Earth Community for around 10 years, including organising free skate events at Rosebud skate park. He says the business has put through more than $50,000 in prizes and money over the past 10 years.
But the social entrepreneur’s life took a sudden tumble three months ago when he was evicted from the shop he ran at Rosebud Plaza.
Over the years, through his advocacy and financial support, Richardson had been responsible for upgrades at the skate park and is now working on a plan to secure support from Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to build a quarter pipe ramp.
That vision has been almost fulfilled with recent talks with the shire and an offer of free construction by concreter Keenan Harris, with plans to start next year.
Under the banner of Wax the Park, Richardson’s skate competitions have attracted crowds of up to 350 people and 70 skaters, and he has mentored hundreds of young up-and-coming skaters.
The next free competition is due to be held over the Australia Day weekend.
“I’m so grateful to everyone that has helped to get me back in the shop and helping young people.” he said.
Lenny Richardson can be contacted on Facebook at Janice Earth Community, or Instagram.com/Janice.Earth