Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) combines DIY and volunteering by challenging young people aged 14-24 to help repair and refurbish youth and community buildings and facilities, whilst learning vocational trade skills on the job. Young people are mentored by professional tradespeople, and gain Entry Level City & Guilds trade skills accreditations at the same time as developing broader employability skills. The majority of young people who take part are disengaged (or at risk of disengagement) from mainstream education and training, and/or unemployed.
Since 2011, 14,000+ young people have volunteered at 800+ VIY projects UK-wide, supported by 1,150+ trade skills mentors. Places transformed by VIY include youth clubs, community centres, outdoor spaces, schools and colleges, sports clubs, music and arts venues, and supported housing – and all projects involve young volunteers, trade mentors and volunteers from their partners and the local community undertaking refurbishment and improvement works that the venues would otherwise struggle to make happen.
This renewed funding comes off the back of a successful three years of growth for VIY, thanks in part to an initial three year grant of £145,000 from the Postcode Innovation Trust in 2021, alongside VIY’s wide range of cross-sector partners. This approach has allowed the organisation to grow at scale nationally, deepening their recruitment, training and retention of trade mentors across multiple hub regions, delivering strong local impact through the mentoring of local young people, whilst renovating community places and spaces.
Since this first investment from the Postcode Innovation Trust thanks to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and other VIY partners, over three years VIY have:
Over the next three years, this continued investment from the Postcode Innovation Trust will allow VIY to build their capacity and capability to:
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