VIY receives Prime Minister’s Big Society Award

Monday 24th September 2012


The VIY Volunteer It Yourself project, developed and delivered by CoSpA originally in partnership with London YouthWickes, Pimlico Plumbers and vinspired, has received the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award.

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

The Big Society Awards were set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010. The aim is to acknowledge organisations and initiatives across the UK that demonstrate the idea of Big Society through their work and activities.

Congratulating CoSpA on the award, the Prime Minister said: “VIY is a fantastic example of a Big Society approach where young people learn building and trade skills while at the same time providing vital repair work and improvements to their local community centres. It is also a great example of businesses of all sizes working together to come up with a solution that has a lasting effect for everyone involved.

“It is great to hear that volunteers from VIY have secured further training opportunities, apprenticeships and jobs as a result of taking part. I am also really pleased to see that it is being extended to other regions in the country.”

CoSpA is currently working on the roll out of VIY in 47 locations across England and Wales in partnership with London Youth (and other regional youth club networks), City & Guilds and The Big Lottery Fund.

CoSpA was presented with VIY’s award by Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, who said: “This project is impressive – it gets young people involved in refurbishing their local youth club, which clearly makes a big difference to the local community, but it also gives them the opportunity to develop skills which will look great on their CV.”

CoSpA and the other project partners have been invited to meet the Prime Minister at No.10 at the end of November to receive his personal thanks.