Build-it shortlisted in five categories at Corporate Engagement Awards

Friday 12th September 2014


The Build-it programme, giving young people the chance to learn building and construction skills through refurbishing empty homes and social housing within their local communities, has been shortlisted in five categories at this year’s Corporate Engagement Awards.

The Corporate Engagement Awards is the UK’s most significant awards scheme focused on recognising and promoting the best corporate partnerships and sponsorships in the fields of community engagement, social action and cause-related marketing.

Launched in Brixton in April 2013, Build-it was co-created by Cospa in partnership with London Youth and the two organisations have since worked together to deliver and expand the programme across the London Borough of Lambeth, reaching and benefitting 1,500 young people over an initial two-year period.

Build-it is supported by two key corporate partners, building contractors Keepmoat and Mears, plus a number of other cross-sector organisations: The Big Lottery Fund, Lambeth Council, Lambeth College and housing associations Lambeth Living, Metropolitan and Hyde Housing.

Build-it works with 16-25 year olds who are disengaged from education and the labour market, enabling them to learn vocational trade and building skills on the job whilst working alongside older mentors drawn from the local community. Build-it graduates are then given access to employment and further training opportunities via Keepmoat, Mears and the other project partners.

The Build-it pilot in Brixton was featured in the first episode of the Channel 4 series ‘The Secret Millions’, championed by architect, empty homes campaigner and TV presenter George Clarke.

Ben Whitehead, Build-it Partnerships Manager at Cospa, makes the point: “Build-it delivers a triple win … young people are supported to learn skills and get jobs, communities are brought together to become more strongly involved in local regeneration, volunteering and social action, and social housing stock in disadvantaged communities is improved and returned to use.”

The five categories in which Build-it has been shortlisted at the Corporate Engagement Awards are: Best Collaborative Approach, Best Combined Programme, Best Community Involvement, Best Educational Programme and Most Innovative Collaboration. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 28th October 2014.