VIPs give support to VIY in Birmingham

Monday 24th February 2014

VIY Birmingham

Local MPs, councillors and the Lord Mayor visited Birmingham Community Association on Saturday 22nd February to meet 55 young volunteers aged 12-19 working to fix and repair the Association’s youth centre building.

The young people are taking part in the national VIY Volunteer It Yourself project, co-created and delivered by Cospa, which challenges young people to fix local youth club buildings in urgent need of repair and to learn vocational trade and building skills in the process. The young people are mentored on the job by local tradespeople, who also volunteer their time, and can earn a vocational qualification and progress to work placement and apprenticeship opportunities with local employers.

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Mike Leddy,¬†Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood and Labour Councillors Brett O’Reilly, Waseem Zaffar MBE and Majid Mahmood met and congratulated the young people and their mentors, as well as representatives of the organisations behind the project: Wickes, City & Guilds, South & City College Birmingham, Birmingham Association of Youth Clubs, Big Lottery Fund, London Youth and Cospa.

Birmingham Community Association is the seventh youth centre in Birmingham over the past 18 months to take part in and benefit from VIY. The youth centre has been partnered with the local Wickes store in Hall Green, which has provided all the materials needed for free and also helped recruit local tradespeople as volunteer trade skills mentors. South & City College has also provided college tutors as further skills mentors.

In total, 45 clubs have participated to date in VIY across England and Wales, involving more than 1,100 young people and 270 local tradespeople.