About VIY

Volunteer It Yourself combines DIY and volunteering by challenging young people aged 14-24 to help repair and refurbish youth and community facilities, whilst learning vocational trade skills on the job. We also deliver ‘early intervention’ construction sector employability skills and careers training for 10-14 year olds in schools.

VIY participants are mentored by local professional tradespeople and can work towards and gain Entry Level City & Guilds trade skills accreditations, and the majority of young people who take part are disengaged or excluded (or at risk of disengagement/exclusion) from mainstream education and training, and/or unemployed.

Since 2011, 10,000+ young people have volunteered at 500+ VIY projects UK-wide, supported by 1,000+ trade skills mentors. Outcomes include 40% of all participants achieving the Entry Level 3 City & Guilds skills qualification and 30% of NEET participants aged 16+ progressing to further training or employment. 65% of participants also report increased confidence levels across seven key personal skills linked to employability.

VIY started in 2011 as a project created by social innovation company Cospa, and was subsequently established as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2015.

The Team

Tim Reading CEO, co-founder & board member Tim has 20 years experience of creating and growing cross-sector social action projects, and a background in engineering
Ed Sellwood Operations Director, co-founder & board member Ed has 15+ years experience of managing and delivering community and grassroots youth-engagement programmes
Dee Dee Whelan Programme Director Dee Dee has extensive experience developing community projects in the UK and overseas and is a qualified physiotherapist
Tom Hague Programme Director Tom is always looking to improve society's offer to young people, and has previously worked in housing and as a teacher
Atma Amin Senior Project Manager Atma joined VIY with a strong background in housing management, voluntary work and youth mentoring
Aimee Thomson Project Manager Aimee has a background in planning and delivering large-scale projects and activities with schools
Ben Fisher Project Manager Ben has previously set up and managed a range of community, environment and youth projects across northern England
Simi Obi-Adewole Project Executive & Facilitator A sociology and criminology graduate, Simi has experience in, and a passion for, youth development and mentoring
Lara Bodger Project Executive Lara has a degree in Politics & International Relations, and is strongly motivated by local community development
Imran Younas National Head Mentor Imran is a multi-trader and VIY’s most experienced Lead Mentor, having mentored on more than 100 projects UK-wide
Stuart Richmond Partnerships Lead Stuart has a wealth of partnership sales and management experience working with rights holders, agencies and brands
Paul Fleming Logistics Manager
Yasmin Abu Bookkeeper
Sue Johnson Internal Quality Assurer

Advisory Board Members & VIY Ambassadors

VIY’s senior management team is supported by an advisory board currently comprising four members, all of whom have considerable personal experience of VIY’s work and activities and, between them, cover areas of key relevance to VIY including social action, education and vocational skills, and the DIY sector/building trade.

VIY  has also appointed its first formal VIY Ambassador, Andy Stevens, to help champion our work and Andy is already a strong advocate in areas that also really matter to VIY such as encouraging more young people to consider the building and construction sector as an accessible and rewarding skills and career pathway.

Natalie Cramp CEO, Profusion Prior to joining Profusion, Natalie was COO at The Careers & Enterprise Company, a current VIY partner and supporter
Matthew Gaunt Business Growth Consultant Matthew was VIY's client for five years whilst Brand & Marketing Director at DIY and home improvement retailer Wickes
Michael Osbaldeston Senior Advisor, City & Guilds City & Guilds is the world's largest skills body and has underpinned VIY's skills offer to young people since 2012
Carrie Deacon Head of Social Action Innovation, Nesta Innovation foundation Nesta has been a long-term supporter of VIY's organisational growth and development
Andy Stevens Builder, Broadcaster & VIY Ambassador Andy is a presenter for OnTheTools, writes for national press, and is a regular speaker at building conferences