Our schedule: current and upcoming projects

3 March 2023

Our 2023 project pipeline


Greater Manchester – Inspiring Generations through cricket

  • Stockport Cricket Club – 20th February – 2nd March
    • building storage and revitalising this local cricket club
  • Rochdale Cricket Club – April


  • Canley Community Centre, Coventry – 13th-3rd March
    • painting a welcoming and fun space to refresh a tired community hall
  • Paddle Plus, Leicester – 6th March
    • creating storage space to provide a social-prescribing activity service for those suffering with poor mental health
  • Ashiana Community Project, Birmingham – March
    • building and decorating cycling storage for a female cycling group

Norfolk – Norwich

  • Cadge Road Community Centre – 27th February-17th March
    • revitalising this community space through carpentry and decorating
  • TPF Parkour Gym – April
    • revamping a gym for parkour and gymnastics, with vibrant paint mural & upgraded toilet facilities


Nottinghamshire* – part-funded through the UK Government Shared Prosperity Fund

*Ages 16-30, those unemployed or economically inactive

  • Evolve Community Club, 6th-24th March
    • redecorating the communal spaces and boxing gym to welcome new community members, plus building a BBQ for communities to come together over food
  • Old Basford Community Centre, 27th March-28th April

    • redecorating this vital community space for services for those with poor mental health, a disability and/or impairment, and building benches and planters to enjoy time outside
  • Newark Orchard School – 27th February-17th March
    • building a sensory garden through carpentry  for this school for students with special educational needs


  • Sunnybank Community Centre – 28th February-17th March
    • redecorating and creating new furniture/storage to bring a vibrant community centre back to life


South East

  • Canada Villa Community Centre, Barnet – 6th-31st March
    • rebuilding outdoor decking for outdoor physical activity including yoga and dance
  • Surrey Council CAMs Service, Epsom – April
    • converting a disused pavilion into a therapy garden through carpentry with young CAMs service users

New partnership to help more people Think Active

2 March 2023

We’re excited to announce a new partnership in the West Midlands with Think Active, a grant-giving organisation whose initiatives support their vision for everyone to benefit from physical activity and enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle in safe and thriving communities.

Together, we’ll be refurbishing six community spaces across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to enable more physical activity to take place and ultimately, help more people in their local area to be more active.

This follows successful VIY projects in the region to date, such as creating an outdoor spectator and events space for Coventrians Rugby Club and refurbishing The Tin Music & Arts Venue, also in Coventry.

Ciara Grogan, VIY Programme Director for Sport, said:

“We’re really excited to be expanding our sports programmes across the Midlands, working with brilliant partners like Think Active. Not only will these refurbished spaces help attract and increase the number of people being active, but they will have enabled young people from the local area to boost their skills and confidence to take a positive next step towards their future.”

XXX from Think Active, said:

As well as funding from Think Active, these projects will be supported with match-funding from Sport England, plus material donations from our Trade Partners Dulux, GAP Tool Hire and Travis Perkins. Staff volunteers from Dulux’s Technical Advice Team (pictured above) also volunteered to paint for a day on the first project at Canley Community Centre.

Anne-Marie Corbett, Centre Manager for Canley Community Centre, our first project to benefit from this partnership, told us how much the works mean to them:

“We’re so grateful for the refresh VIY and 9 local volunteers have given to the centre. As a charitable organisation ourselves, the centre hasn’t been painted in 10 years due to slim resourcing and funds. In order to be able to best serve our community, through our food bank, local youth groups tackling knife crime and soon, local sports activities like yoga, dodgeball and fitness classes, we need to be looking our best to attract more people to use the centre and our services, whilst feeling comfortable to be in a bright, welcoming space, when they’re here. This full redecoration of the centre will do just that.”

Local young people from Coventry College volunteering to redecorate Canley Community Centre and gain their City & Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditation in Painting & Decoration, flanked by team members on the tools from Think Active & VIY

Our next projects together renovating community spaces for more local people to engage in physical activity include Bradby Youth Club in Rugby and Manor Park Rugby Football Club in Nuneaton. Head here to see all of our upcoming projects and to get involved.

Dulux and VIY to continue Let’s Colour partnership for another three years 

9 February 2023

Since 2019, Dulux has donated 11,000 litres of paint to over 90 VIY projects, which have collectively helped over 1,100 young people learn trade skills and gain over 900 City & Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditations. While doing so these projects have coloured the lives of over 55,000 people within the communities whose spaces have been transformed through VIY’s projects, across the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country.

Some standout painting projects have included the epic glow-up of Kaset Skatepark in King’s Lynn, the former gymnastics club of Beth Tweddle MBE in Liverpool and the Amber Foundation for young people in Trowbridge, completed with some leftover paint from Dulux’s sponsorship of Channel 4’s Changing Rooms.

As well as continuing to transform vital community spaces in need and the lives of the young people we work with through the power of paint, the new three year partnership will expand to see VIY become the Community Partner in all Dulux Decorator Centres across the country, where the sales of paint stirrers and tin openers will directly fund the City & Guilds Entry Level accreditations gained by young people volunteering on VIY projects.

Further initiatives will include training for VIY learners and Mentors through the Dulux Academy, passing on decades of experience through mentoring opportunities for professional painters through Dulux’s network and their own staff, along with linking VIY’s young volunteers up with potential employment opportunities for the future.

Left to right: Pete Howard, Sustainability & CSR Lead, Dulux, and Tim Reading, CEO and co-founder, VIY, at Dublin Castle, Camden – where Dulux Let’s Colour and VIY transformed this historic music venue

Tim Reading, CEO and co-founder of VIY, on signing the agreement, said:

“Working with the biggest names in the trade helps demonstrate true, collaborative social value for both VIY and big brand organisations. Our ongoing partnership with Dulux, not just through the power of paint and how this can transform a community place, but through our joint efforts in training, mentoring and the next steps for our young people with other partners and clients, will help towards delivering our joint strategic goals to develop the next generation of tradespeople.”

Peter Howard, Sustainability & CSR Lead for Dulux, said:
“We are delighted to sign this 3 year partnership agreement with VIY. This partnership will colour thousands of lives and benefit hundreds of young people all through the power of paint.

“We at Dulux are delighted to continue partnering with Volunteer It Yourself and look forward to delivering a record number of Let’s Colour community transformation projects in the years to come. This partnership will continue to not only add colour to tens of thousands of lives each year but also will help hundreds of young people improve their confidence and construction skills. It’s a shining example of how collaboration with brilliant partners can harness the power of paint!”

Here’s to three more years doing #SomethingConstructive through the power of paint with Dulux!

Tender for Club Development Support

26 January 2023

Tender: Club Development Support

The ask 

VIY wishes to maximise the impact of their work, specifically within the Sport England grant, and appoint a Club Development Support organisation to intensively support approximately 20-30 sport and physical activity clubs post-VIY projects across 2023-24.

This support will be allocated to clubs deemed most in need of support across finance and business sustainability, governance or inclusion, and crucially link to driving impact from VIY’s work. This need will be identified by the supplier through a club’s existing diagnostic, or a diagnostic developed for this process.

The themes of support have been identified with Sport England, partners and clubs VIY have worked with.

VIY are not experts in Club Development Support, but have identified a need for additional support for clubs once we complete our work to enable them to kick-on with their plans and maximise the benefits and impact of the works undertaken by VIY.

Full information and details can be found in the form below:

Download the detail to write your application


Useful information

Examples of existing Club Development Support that could add value to this programme (not an exhaustive list):

Home Page – Digital Marketing Hub (cimspa.co.uk)

Sport England Club Matters

Questions are welcomed via ciara@teamviy.com before 10th February 2023.

The tender documents should be sent to ciara@teamviy.com by 17th February 2023.

Creating Commonwealth legacy in Birmingham

19 December 2022

Together, we’re embarking on 5 community projects in 2023, across five wards with the greatest levels of inactivity and low socio-economic mobility, to improve the quality and access to sport and physical activity for the local community.

Birmingham has always been one of VIY’s heartlands, following the first VIY ‘hub’ at Shard End Youth Centre from 2015 over four years, and improving community spaces for physical activity with projects at the likes of Hall Green Boxing Club and Saathi House.

Ciara Grogan, VIY Programme Director for Sport, said:

“We’re delighted to be back in Birmingham and contributing towards the legacy of the Commonwealth Games. Bringing together our model of boosting young people’s skills whilst transforming community places, altogether with our experience in renovating hundreds of spaces for physical activity through Sport England, we’re ready to help get Birmingham moving through its city motto ‘Forward’, with an approach mirroring the message of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, ‘Be Bold’.”

Laura Kerrigan for Sport Birmingham, said:

“Our first project with VIY, completed in November 2022, was at Birmingham Paddle Club, based at Ackers Adventure in Sparkbrook, an area where activity levels are lower than the national average. They’ve wanted to start a Paddle Club for ages, an alternative physical activity for the local community in a landlocked city, but haven’t had anywhere to effectively store their canoes and set sail. 

With the help of 15 volunteers from local organisations including St Basils, Edge Academy and Ashiana Community Project, plus two marvellous VIY Midlands Mentors, storage has been built from scratch, inside a shipping container on-site, right by the water’s edge.”

This project has been supported with match-funding from Sport England and British Canoeing, plus material donations from Travis Perkins Stirchley and GAP Tool Hire.

Andy Train from the Birmingham Paddlesports Hub at Ackers told us how much the works mean to them:

The works VIY have completed have furthered our ambitions to expand the Paddle Club. Without the storage they have created, we would struggle to accommodate more members, as we simply would not be able to keep our canoes safe. Now we can finally invite more of the local community to join us on the canals, doing something active right on their doorstep. Thanks to all of the local young people who helped transform our storage container!”

Two images side by side showing the inside of a metal shipping contained. The left hand image shows it empty, with one canoe sat at the front. The right hand image shows it following the work of VIY, creating handmade wooden storage for canoes

Before/After: new storage for the Birmingham Paddlesports Hub at Ackers Adventure, Birmingham

Steve and the team at Ackers Adventure were also so kind as to give our young volunteers and partners a free archery session to thank them for their hard work with us on the tools to help their Paddle Club take shape!

Two individuals pictured stood safe distance away from an archery target. One male is instructing another individual, both hold a wooden crossbow.

Our next projects together in Birmingham will be at Concord Youth Centre and Ashiana Community Project and Cycling Hub, who both work with the local community in Sparkbrook (one of the poorest wards in Birmingham, with one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country). We’ll be creating a calm, safe haven at Concord, improving fitness suite storage for indoor activity, ensuring safe outdoor decking for activities and improving the overall look of the space, with the help of young people who use this community space. At Ashiana, we’ll be building cycling facilities for the cycling hub, which is run to teach and encourage the local female community to cycle.

VIY clubhouse renovation with Northampton Saints

2 November 2022

We’ve been joined throughout the works by Northampton Saints Foundation students, who are taking part in the Foundation’s Hitz and Aspire programmes, as well as local college students on construction courses or disengaged from mainstream education. They’ve been painting and decorating the changing rooms and adding individual changing slots at the club to make them more attractive for current and new players, resulting in 19 Entry Level 3 City & Guilds accreditations gained by the young volunteers in Painting & Decorating and Carpentry.

They were lucky to be joined by current Saints player, James Grayson, as well as Saints legend, Tom Wood, both Foundation ambassadors, who both helped the students with some painting at the venue.

Connor Fleming, Head of Northampton Saints Community said: “The clubhouse Renovation Competition is an excellent example of our partnership in action, helping to support our local clubs and communities as well as supporting activity across the grassroots level. Projects like this help make rugby more accessible for everyone, using the power of sport to positively impact a wide range of groups and individuals.

Tom Wood added: “It’s great to be able to do some practical activities with the young people out of the classroom, and particularly in the surroundings of a local rugby club.

“I have been lucky in that rugby has given me a great deal, so getting involved in projects like this one give me the opportunity to give something back, not just to the students, but also the wider community.”

Ed Sellwood, our COO and co-founder of VIY, said:

“We’ve completed over 700 community projects since 2011, many of which have been improving grassroots sports clubs and facilities for the benefit of the local community and all helping boost the work-readiness of the young people who volunteer with us. Collaborating with cross-sector partners, from sports to construction like the Saints and Toolstation, help us all do more to build better communities and help improve more young lives together.”

Greg Richardson, Head of Marketing at Toolstation added: “We’re really happy to have supported the VIY team and Long Buckby with the renovation of their facilities. This is a project that will help young people learn practical trade and building skills and earn a qualification. The construction sector is facing a shortage of workers and so we hope that this initiative will inspire more young people to consider entering the trades.”

The project is due to be completed at the start of November with the updated facilities being put into use for the first time at Long Buckby RFC’s next home fixture!

Meet Elise, our young volunteer painting her future with us on this project

VIY’s inspiring volunteers: Bill Langwith

26 October 2022

In conversation with Bill ‘Total Legend’ Langwith.

First volunteering with VIY back in 2015 at the Eric Allen Community House in partnership with Haringey Council in North London, Bill helped to renovate this disused community centre and mentored local residents, loving the experience of helping young people to take their minds off challenging issues through learning new skills. 

Bill recently returned to mentor young volunteers at Woodford Rugby Club in Essex


What do you enjoy the most about mentoring with VIY?

“I really love the job, it gives me full satisfaction and purpose. A highlight was hearing a young person say it was the ‘best day of my life’. It’s all worthwhile to help young people have those days.”


How has VIY changed your life?

“As well as all of the young people I’ve volunteered alongside through VIY, I’ve made friends for life. Before VIY, I mentored a guy in my local area, got him into the trade with me away from trouble and we struck up a great working relationship. I was building my own next generation in the trade. When I started working for VIY, I brought him with me and now that man is Alan Dalton, VIY’s Head Mentor [pictured above together]. We’re still great friends now, more like father and son.

“Alan is a real example of how we can build the next generation, through volunteering, nurture and mentoring. Whether that be a tradesperson becoming a VIY Trade Mentor or one of the young people we work with, VIY makes a real difference to people’s lives and their community.” 

Bill catching up recently with VIY family Neil, Alan and Sue


Following that first taste of VIY, Bill has mentored on over 20 projects, earning the nickname ‘Total Legend’ after he went above and beyond to fix the aircon during a project at The Macbeth pub in Hackney, part of the Good Growth Fund through the Greater London Authority. Stories like these, along with his venerable age of 80, not to mention his positive can-do attitude, mean that Bill is firmly in the ‘VIY Hall of Fame’. 


Why do you believe in VIY? 

“VIY is not just a job, it’s a purpose. Yes, you get job satisfaction from doing a job well, but with VIY you can really help a young person in their life. 

“My first project was a definite eye opener for me into the lives of young people growing up in London today. VIY can only do good for young people and the mentors teaching them. I’m glad I’ve been able to pass on a bit of what I know to the young people I’ve worked with, and I hope it plays at least a small part in them securing a job in the future.

“The best moment is when the young people have had behavioural or mental health problems in the past, and we can get them really interested in learning new skills. VIY is something special.”


Why is volunteering important to you? 

I’ve volunteered at my local church for over 12 years, alongside working for VIY; sorting leaky taps, refreshing benches (keeping those woodwork skills alive!), the odd jobs they need someone to do. Volunteering still keeps me active – I’m no couch potato and like to keep busy to keep active, so I like helping out and feeling like I’m still making a difference to those around me.” 

Bill mentoring young volunteers

Creating legacy in Liverpool with Persimmon

13 October 2022

Ahead of The 2022 World Gymnastics Championships, we’re working with Persimmon Homes and Liverpool City Council’s Legacy programme to support the refurbishment of local sports facilities, at the same time as working with local young people at risk of disengagement to gain experience and qualifications in the construction trades.

New programme

For the first project in our new programme, we refurbished The Liverpool Gymnastics Club, the grassroots facility that supported Beth Tweddle as she started her career, one of Britain’s most successful gymnasts, with an Olympic Bronze Medal, three World titles, five European titles and seven British titles to her name.

We were also joined at the project by Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, a former bricklayer himself. He enjoyed meeting Kaitlyn, Demi, Lee and Liam, some of our young VIY volunteers from the project from Employability Solutions Merseyside, who support young people with an alternative pathway to education and training.

See our feature on BBC North West Tonight

VIY has welcomed 25 young people from Employability Solutions Merseyside, Prudentia Education and Kings Liverpool Academy Liverpool who’ve volunteered to renovate the club, painting the walls in line with the club colours and building new storage and a reception area, with10 City and Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditations gained in painting and decorating.

Persimmon, who we worked with in 2021 at Flo Skatepark in Nottingham, have added to the VIY volunteer experience offering site visits to their Edinburgh campus, Anfield, a number of staff volunteering alongside the young people and are now considering a number of apprenticeship opportunities for our VIY volunteers.

Supporting partners include match-funding from Sport England, Dulux, who have donated all of the paint for the club’s refurbishment, as well as the local Travis Perkins branch.

This new programme marks a return to Merseyside for Team VIY, following previous projects refurbishing Mersey Bowmen Tennis Club and Portico Vine Rugby League Club in St Helens.

VIY volunteers become VIY Peer Mentors

6 September 2022

Here at Volunteer It Yourself, one of the pillars of our mission is to help inspire young people and better support them to progress towards and into employment, especially within construction. In turn, helping to develop the next generation of tradespeople and indeed ‘grow our own’ next generation of VIY Trade Mentors.

Welcome, then, our to our newest Peer Mentors, Liam Bensley and Kelsie Ferguson!

Liam, 22 (pictured right above), referred to VIY initially through the local JobCentre, first volunteered with VIY at our Community Hub project at East Norfolk Community College, where we were transforming a disused scout hut into a multi-functional community space.

Kelsie, 18 (pictured left above), who also joined the same project as Liam as a student from East Norfolk Community College, wanted to gain construction experience during the summer holidays.

Hear from Liam on becoming a VIY Peer Mentor

Both then returned to volunteer and gain their third City & Guilds accreditation at our project in partnership with Orbit Housing at their community in Gorleston, where we’ve been bringing a disused community room back to life with improvements to the interior/exterior, as well as creating a playful outdoor space, with the help of local young residents and young people there.

There, they both expressed an interest in staying with VIY and progressing as Peer Mentors, thanks to the support and teaching from their own VIY Mentors, Jasper, Matt (pictured central above) and Simon.

Simon Kitson, VIY Lead Mentor who has been instrumental in both Liam and Kelsie’s growth since volunteering with VIY, said: “They’ve both really stepped up from volunteer to Mentor really well. Not only that, I taught Kelsie how to saw some wood and the next week she was putting this learning into action, teaching another young volunteer in the exact same way! The true role of a VIY Peer Mentor.”

Jojo Yohannes, who progressed as a Peer Mentor and is now thriving as a Project Executive with VIY is proof of what the model can achieve: “There’s a real positive culture fostered by our people to achieve our goals, to empower young people and give them a chance. Through supporting Peer Mentors like myself, Liam and Kelsie, we’re developing the next socially-conscious generation for the construction industry, positively influenced by our own trade mentor role models of today.”

Since completing Gorleston Community Room, they’ve both been working on our latest projects with the UK Community Renewal Fund* in Norfolk; creating storage fit for purpose for the Fakenham Community Pantry, a foodbank in North Norfolk, and Bradwell Community Centre in Great Yarmouth, refreshing this multi-purpose space for young people.

Liam has also been supported with transport by the council, through their e-scooter scheme to help combat infrastructure challenges in the county.

* For more information on the UK Community Renewal Fund, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund- prospectus

Vouch-For-A-Friend: £10 Amazon voucher

26 August 2022

Your questions answered: Vouch-For-A-Friend

What’s Vouch-For-A-Friend?

Young people tell us all the time that they would recommend a VIY project or that they know someone who would enjoy the experience too. To say thank you, we are rewarding the young person who successfully recommends a friend onto a VIY project (a friend who turns up and  participates on a VIY project too) with a £10 thank you voucher.

What is the voucher for?
The eligible young person who has successfully recommended VIY to a friend will receive a £10 Amazon voucher. You can find further details and terms & conditions of the voucher here. This incentive is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Amazon.

Who is eligible to participate and receive a voucher?

As a young person, you can participate in a VIY project if you are:

  • 14-24 (16-24 in some areas)
  • not in education, employment or training
  • excluded/at risk of disengaging in current work/training setting
  • in Alternative Provision
  • with a disability or special educational needs
  • other criteria can apply – please discuss with your VIY Youth Engagement Co-ordinator

Both young people (including the friend being recommended) must meet this criteria to volunteer on VIY projects and for the original young person to receive their voucher. The young people can come from the same organisation but do not have to be volunteering with VIY on the same days to receive the voucher.

Both young people must turn up on time for at least three days of a VIY project that they have registered for, with no unseen absences or delays.

The chosen friend must be referred, or refer themselves to VIY, by email by using this link or by mentioning the name of the person who recommended VIY during their email or telephone registration.

How do I receive the voucher?
The voucher will be sent to the email address associated with your registration with VIY – this may be your own, a family member’s email address, youth organisation, school or college so please check who is organising your place on a VIY project to ensure you receive your voucher.

When do I receive the voucher? 
You will receive the voucher within 14 days following the referred friend completing three days on a project.

Can I only get one voucher, for one friend?
No, a young person can receive a voucher for up to three friends. So if you refer three friends who successfully turn up to a project, you get three vouchers!

What is the timeframe within which I have to refer a friend to be eligible for a voucher?
The friend must successfully participate in the same project as the young person referring the friend.

VIY retains the right to amend these terms and conditions or remove this incentive at any time.

Please contact outreach@teamviy.com if you have any unanswered questions ahead of recommending and ‘vouching for a friend’ with VIY.

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