Skip to the content
Awarding funds thanks to players of
People's Postcode Lottery
  • Awarded £145,000 (50% loan, 50% grant)
  • Awarded £225,000 (75% loan, 25% grant)
Back to Funded Charities

Volunteer It Yourself (VIY)

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 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, from 2021-2024 VIY have:

  • Delivered 210 projects at community spaces most in need across the UK
  • Engaged 2,454 young people in learning hands-on trade skills, those NEET or at risk of becoming so
  • Awarded 1,729 Entry Level 3 City & Guilds construction skills accreditations
  • More than tripled their team to deliver impact at scale, including their dedicated team of Lead Mentors
  • Helped an average of 20% of NEET learners progress directly to further training or employment each year, with 75% of all learners reporting increased confidence levels across seven key personal skills linked to employability

From 2024-2027, continued investment from the Postcode Innovation Trust will allow VIY to build their capacity and capability to:

  • undertake projects involving the retrofit of community buildings for improved energy-efficiency and reduced environmental impact 
  • offer their learners the chance to develop new green construction skills and gain green skills accreditations/qualifications

Visit their website here.