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.

VIY learners are mentored by local professional tradespeople and can work towards and gain Entry Level City & Guilds trade skills accreditations. We work with young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) or at risk of disengagement/exclusion from mainstream education and training.

Since 2011:

13,000+ young people have volunteered

700+ community projects completed UK-wide

1,100+ trade skills mentors involved

Outcomes include: 60% of all participants achieving the Entry Level 3 City & Guilds skills accreditation | 25% of NEET participants aged 16+ progressing to further training or employment | 71% said their future aspirations had changed as a result of taking part in VIY (2021-22)

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 Tim has 20 years experience of creating and growing cross-sector social action projects, and a background in engineering
Ed Sellwood COO & co-founder Ed has 15+ years experience of managing and delivering community and grassroots youth-engagement programmes
Jennie Arthur Head of Programmes Jennie has 15 years in the sport sector and believes strongly in how volunteering positively impacts people's lives
Dee Dee Whelan Senior Programme Director Dee Dee has extensive experience developing community projects in the UK and overseas and is a qualified physiotherapist
Ciara Grogan Programme Director Ciara’s background in the sport sector brings with it a passion for helping young people and communities to flourish
Imran Younas National Head Mentor Imran is a multi-trader and VIY’s most experienced Mentor, having mentored on more than 300 projects UK-wide
Atma Amin Programme Manager (South) Atma joined VIY with a strong background in housing management, voluntary work and youth mentoring
Matt Mellor Programme Manager (North) Matt has extensive experience managing and implementing community based projects, seeing young people thrive
Sonya Kumar Senior Youth Engagement Manager Sonya has been involved in youth work for 12 years and has worked for The Prince's Trust and National Citizen Service
Thomas Gatehouse Senior Data & Impact Manager Thomas has 10+ years experience in the third sector with a passion for using data to make informed business decisions
Alex Berwick Data & Impact Officer Alex is passionate about helping VIY evidence their impact as effectively as possible
Alan Dalton Head Mentor Alan's a long-serving Mentor, with a passion for helping young people who are facing challenging circumstances
Sue Johnson Skills Manager Sue ensures all our young people are given the opportunity to achieve the skills & knowledge to gain qualifications
Karen Lilley Mentors Manager Karen has 20+ years project management experience, leading on building refurbishment projects and volunteering services
Ash Pembery Youth Progressions Manager Ash's 8 years in youth & education demonstrates his passion to empower others to gain vital opportunities they deserve
Hannah Green Communications Manager Hannah has a passion for helping organisations tell their story and create meaningful experiences for their communities
Graham Blackburn Project Manager Graham is a health & wellbeing specialist tackling inequalities and the impact it has on communities and young people
Mick Loftus Project Manager Mick has 40+ years in the construction industry and is now helping young people start their journey
Danny Hawkins Project Manager Danny's looking to help as many young people get the right start in life and helping develop their skills and futures
Georgina Homer Project Manager Georgina's 20+ years in the nonprofit sector shares her passion for helping people become the best they can be
Joseph Yohannes Project Executive & Peer Mentor Jojo is a Social Psychology graduate turned VIY volunteer, now full team member, passionate about helping create change
Jada Sandy Junior Skills Mentor Jada progressed with VIY through the Kickstart scheme, looking to pave the way for young females in construction
Georgie Adams Youth Engagement Co-ordinator Georgie has 10+years experience in the third sector and is incredibly passionate about growing future generations
Gemma Torr Youth Engagement Co-ordinator Gemma is passionate about youth work, with a background in education, outreach, recruitment, training and assessment
Dave Clyne Construction Manager Dave has 20+ years of project management experience mainly in the commercial construction fit out industry
Paul Fleming Logistics & Networks Consultant Paul works with the teams on all things paint-related, as a decorating specialist with 30+ years commercial experience
Yasmin Abu Bookkeeper
Stuart Richmond Partnerships Lead Stuart has a wealth of partnership sales and management experience working with rights holders, agencies and brands

Advisory Board Members

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.

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 Independent social innovation strategist Formerly of innovation foundation Nesta, a long-term supporter of VIY's organisational growth and development