Build-it project launched in Lambeth

Thursday 13th June 2013


The Build-it community regeneration project, co-developed and delivered by Cospa and London Youth, was launched yesterday at Lambeth College.

Build-it gives young people and skilled tradespeople the opportunity to work together to repair and renovate derelict properties and bring them back into use as social housing. In the process, the young people can achieve building and construction skills qualifications and gain access to apprenticeship and employment opportunities with local employers.

The project was piloted successfully in Brixton at the end of 2012 and also featured on the recent Channel 4 series The Secret Millions. Now, with the backing of the Big Lottery Fund and in partnership with Lambeth Council and Lambeth College, it is being rolled out across Lambeth over the next two years, involving 40 properties, 1,500 young people and 400 trade skills mentors.

Cospa’s role on Build-it to date has included attracting the support of some of the UK’s top building companies and constractors and social housing organisations such as Keepmoat, Wates, Lambeth Living  and Metropolitan Housing. These supporting partners provide a range of opportunities and benefits to help enable and enhance the project, such as contributing employees as mentors, opening access to derelict properties, and providing work placements and apprenticeships for Build-it ‘graduates’.

Speaking at the launch, Channel 4 presenter and Build-it Ambassador George Clarke spoke about how inspired he was by the project and the impact it was having on the young people involved: “I genuinely believe that Build-it will be life changing for thousands of young people.”

Work has already begun at the first of the 40 properties – on an estate in Tulse Hill - and one of the young people involved explained why they’d chosen to volunteer: “I live on this estate and it’s good to get the chance to do something positive to improve it. I am enjoying working with the older mentors as they really know their stuff and I am learning a lot. I like the different bits to the programme – some of it’s in college, but most of it’s here, doing up the houses. It’s good to get a mix of experience. I am taking it step by step, and hoping it will make a difference to me and to the estate.”

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