VIY launches in Birmingham

Friday 15th March 2013

Birmingham launch

The VIY Volunteer It Yourself community regeneration project, developed and delivered by Cospa in partnership with Wickes, Big Lottery Fund, City & Guilds and London Youth, has now launched in Birmingham as part of a major national roll-out.

VIY challenges young people to fix and repair their own youth club buildings. They are mentored on the job by experienced local tradespeople, who also volunteer their time, and ultimately gain an entry level qualification in building and construction skills. VIY ‘graduates’ are then connected with local apprenticeship, employment and further training opportunities.

VIY is being rolled out in 47 locations and six regions across the UK over two years. The project started in London and now work is up and running in five youth clubs in Birmingham, already involving almost 100 young people and a core team of 15 trade mentors.

One of the clubs benefiting in Birmingham is All Saints Centre in Kings Heath. The club’s Young Leaders Co-ordinator, Kiu Wai Lam, said: “The VIY scheme is a real life line for sustaining and improving our youth club. It’s also giving the young people involved a great sense of ownership and responsibility for their club, in addition to the valuable vocational skills they’re learning.”

Summing up the value of VIY, Mick McGrath, Head of Region, East Midlands, at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “VIY will not only have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of young people across Birmingham taking part in the scheme, but hundreds more will also benefit from the renovation of five city youth clubs. These clubs offer a vital, safe space for young people to socialise and be themselves and it is crucial they are protected and preserved. And what better way to do it than to support young people in doing it for themselves?”

For more information on VIY visit www.volunteerityourself.org