VIY named among 50 New Radicals changing Britain for the better

Monday 8th September 2014

New Radicals 2

The VIY Volunteer It Yourself programme, created and managed by Cospa, has been included on the 2014 New Radicals list, compiled by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, and The Observer.

The New Radicals list comprises 50 people and projects that are being celebrated for changing Britain for the better by offering innovative ways to tackle social challenges.

First piloted in 2011, VIY challenges young people to fix local youth club buildings in urgent need of repair and to learn practical 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.

Programme partners and supporters include Wickes, City & Guilds, Rated People and London Youth, as well as Nesta and The Big Lottery Fund.

Over the past two years, 1,299 young people, aged 14-24, and 293 local trade skills mentors have taken part in 59 VIY projects across the UK.

New Radicals was launched in 2012 when 50 people and projects were chosen from across a range of sectors. This year, applications and nominations were invited across ten categories: community action; environment; health; employment/jobs; politics; media, architecture and the arts; science and technology; business; education; food. More than 1,000 nominations were ultimately received and these were assessed by a panel of judges that included Geoff Mulgan, Nesta CEO, and John Mulholland, Editor of The Observer.

Geoff Mulgan comments: “New Radicals celebrates the often unsung heroes who are blazing new trails that could benefit us all, whether in schools or care homes, science or the arts. It’s designed to complement the very familiar lists that celebrate the rich, the powerful and the famous, and we hope that once again the list can inspire others to turn their enthusiasm and ideas into practical change for the better.”

John Mulholland adds: “It’s a thrilling list – here are people or groups of people who are organising, collaborating and active in a way that helps transform lives and communities. It’s an antidote to apathy and cynicism – this is about activism. The ways in which these people act has the effect of materially changing the lives of Britons for the better.”

The full list of 50 2014 New Radicals can be found on the Nesta and Observer websites.