Big Lottery Fund backs national roll-out of VIY

Wednesday 11th July 2012

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The Big Lottery Fund has announced a £940,000 grant in support of the VIY Volunteer It Yourself programme, developed and delivered by CoSpA in partnership with London Youth (and other regional youth club networks), Wickes and City & Guilds.

VIY involves young people learning practical trade skills on the job whilst volunteering to renovate local youth club buildings in need of essential repairs. Young people are mentored by professional tradespeople and ultimately gain vocational qualifications and the chance to progress to further training, work placements and apprenticeships with local employers.

The Big Lottery Grant will directly enable 47 new VIY club repair/renovation projects across England and Wales over the next two years.

Describing the importance of VIY, Rajay Naik, Big Lottery Fund Board Member, said: “The Big Lottery Fund is delighted to be backing this scheme, which will make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of young people. VIY is an innovative way to offer young people meaningful work experience and the chance to gain valuable qualifications, which will hopefully bolster their chances of securing future employment. Also, by enabling the repair of youth clubs, VIY helps ensure that young people will have safe places where they can socialise and get involved in positive activities for years to come.”

As well as donating all of the materials needed for each club renovation project, Wickes is mobilising 200 of its trade customers to serve as skills mentors on the programme. Tony Holdway, Brand Director at Wickes, explains: “At Wickes we are passionate about nurturing and encouraging the next generation of tradespeople. VIY helps achieve this by capitalising on the expertise and generosity of local tradespeople nationwide and connecting them at the core of their communities with youth clubs in need.”