Inspiring Generations: renovating cricket clubs across Greater Manchester

19 July 2022

Lancashire Cricket Foundation, Cheshire Cricket Board, the England and Wales Cricket Board and Chance to Shine have partnered with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its ten local councils to create and deliver a 10-Point Action Plan for cricket in Greater Manchester, with VIY set to deliver one of its key actions.

The Inspiring Generations strategy, running from June 2022 until December 2024, has been put in place to use cricket to improve young people’s lives and create stronger, healthier communities in Greater Manchester.

One of the first programmes to break ground on one of the strategy’s key outcomes is a suite of VIY projects helping to equip young people for life through volunteering.

VIY will deliver 30 projects renovating grassroots cricket clubs in 10 priority areas across Greater Manchester, providing employability-boosting opportunities for local young people not in education, employment or training, or at risk of disengaging from mainstream education and/or becoming unemployed.

The first project we’ve completed is at Stalybridge Cricket Club, where VIY and 15 young volunteers from Active Tameside have built a brand new decking area to invite more local cricket spectators to enjoy games and to support the club’s financial sustainability and newly renovated hospitality facilities.

Keith Bowers, Secretary, Stalybridge Cricket Club was thankful of the effort and said, “Stalybridge Cricket Club would like to thank VIY and the team for their time and effort on this project. We would not be able to afford the time, labour or materials to complete such a project. The juniors, parents, spectators will benefit massively having a fantastic seating area in a sunny spot. We also know we have hopefully helped some young people on the right track to developing new skills that will help them on a career path.”

One of the youngsters involved was 15-year-old Khylam from Stalybridge who said: 

I really want to work in demolition when I am older and I have learnt skills here that I wouldn’t have been able to if the project wasn’t available. Everyone has been good to me and am enjoying every minute of it.”

Meanwhile Francisco, aged 16, was also full of praise for the project and said:

“I have been involved throughout and it is really rewarding to see the whole thing come together. I really enjoy being outdoors and have taken part in the drilling, painting and building.”

Other key VIY partners include Sport England, who will match-fund the renovation projects to improve the cricket club facilities, along with Travis Perkins and Dulux who will donate many of the materials needed to deliver the projects.

Sandy Mitchell, Head of Community Growth at Lancashire Cricket Foundation, said:The project is a great example of how this strategy will be used to make a positive difference to individuals and communities through cricket. As the first of 30 VIY projects across Greater Manchester I look forward to seeing the impact they have on both the young people they support, educate and train and the cricket clubs themselves.”

Gareth Moorhouse, Clubs and Participation Manager for Cheshire Cricket Board, said:Stalybridge Cricket Club are a club very much at the heart of their local community, so it was fantastic to see them involved in a scheme that gives life and employability skills to the next generation. Together with the trade mentors, the young people have built a fantastic social space that will benefit the club and its members for many years to come. Huge thanks to VIY for their input and we look forward to working with them on future projects across the region.”

Our schedule: current and upcoming projects

15 July 2022

Our current projects


East Midlands (Nottinghamshire) – aged 16-24 only*

  • Pythian Club, Nottingham (25th July)
    • returning to a former project to create a bike shed & further freshening up
  • Greenway Centre, Nottingham (30th August)
    • refreshing with full painting & decorating and a kitchen space
  • Newark Citizens Advice, Newark (September)
    • creating outdoor space
  • Lions’ Den, Newark (September)
    • creating a space for local young people
  • Elizabethan Academy, Retford (September)
    • creating an accessible outdoor garden for the school

East of England 

  • Gorleston Community Room, Great Yarmouth (18th July)
    • renovating this community space to open up to a more diverse audience, inside and out


Greater Manchester – Inspiring Generations

  • Stalybridge Cricket Club, Dukinfield (27th June)
    • creating a decking area for viewing cricket and enjoying refreshments
  • Springhead Cricket Club, Oldham (18th July)
    • converting their cricket cabin to include catering and female changing facilities 
  • Blackley Cricket Club, Higher Blackley (8th August)
    • refreshing the cricket house exterior to attract new audiences


North West

  • The City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club, Liverpool (19th September)
    • refreshing and creating storage at this much-loved grassroots gym club

South East

  • Charlton Park Rugby Club, London (4th July)
    • creating female facilities and outdoor social space
  • Woodford Rugby Club, Essex (August)
    • refreshing changing and referee facilities


South West

  • Amber Foundation Trowbridge (August)
    • transforming outbuildings into psychotherapy and wellbeing rooms
  • Corby Rugby Club, Northamptonshire (August)
    • renovating ceiling and changing facilities following storm damage

West Midlands – aged 16-24 only

  • Redditch Youth Club, Redditch (18th July)
    • creating kitchen facilities to teach local children cooking skills

*These projects are funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund. You can find more information on this fund here.


Our upcoming projects (dates tbc)

  • Newton Cricket Club, Greater Manchester (September)
  • Stockport Cricket Club, Greater Manchester (October)
  • The Boiler Room, Guildford

VIY confirmed as Gen22 Assignment Provider

19 May 2022

We’re delighted to have been confirmed as an Assignment Provider with the Gen22 programme, the programme providing employability boosting opportunities to young people in the region supported by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Gen22 programme aims to support those aged 16-24 who might otherwise struggle to access the many opportunities arising from the Games, including those who lack confidence, those who are young carers, young parents or have a criminal record. As an Assignment Provider, VIY will provide 50 employability boosting opportunities for young people from the West Midlands on three community projects, starting at Telford Hornets Rugby Club this month, where we’ll be transforming the club’s changing rooms and building a fence to prevent motorcycle access onto the pitch from a nearby public path.

Interested in taking part as a young person (aged 16-24) or as an opportunity for young people you work with to help build the next generation of sporting stars? We’d love to hear from you, please get in touch via

This is a continuation of our work across the West Midlands, one of our hub regions, where we’ve completed over 94 projects during our first decade as an organisation, including Hall Green Boxing Club in 2013 (pictured above!) and Shard End Community Centre in 2017 in Birmingham, and most recently, regenerating Coventrians Rugby Club and The Tin Music & Arts Venue, both in Coventry, in 2021. More exciting programmes in the region are to be announced in coming months.

Bethan Stimpson, Gen22 Programme Lead, said:

“I’m really pleased to be adding Volunteer it Yourself (VIY) to our network of Gen22 Assignment Providers. VIY is bringing a unique set of opportunities to the project; providing a chance for some of our region’s youth to experience trade based social action in their local communities. It is my hope that many of the participants will use this experience to build skills that will help them take their next step into long term sustainable employment.”

Tim Reading, CEO of VIY, said:

“The West Midlands has become one of the core regional hubs of activity for VIY throughout our first ten years, where we’ve helped over 1,500 young people gain trade and employability skills by volunteering on renovation projects to benefit their own communities. We’re delighted to be aligning our work with the Gen22 programme, providing opportunities for those in the youngest city in Europe and the surrounding areas who stand to benefit from an exciting summer and legacy beyond the Games in Birmingham.”


First projects completed with the Community Renewal Fund

18 March 2022


Our first project with Nottinghamshire County Council has seen an internal refresh of the halls at Vibrant Warsop Methodist Church, a building which hosts a range of community activities. We had 11 young volunteers from local colleges and the DWP, learning painting and decorating and health & safety on site. Thanks for kicking us off in the region, team!


Over with Norfolk County Council, we’ve certainly made an impression on the Phoenix Centre, a place serving the local community through food banks, children’s activities and services and where we were welcomed with open arms by the team. After we’d finished our three week project refreshing their interiors, the team even put on a lovely buffet to thank all of the team and young people for their hard work.

Bailey was one of 14 participants, and a young, regular volunteer local to the centre, who struggles in mainstream education. After watching from the sidelines for a week, he was then encouraged to get involved by the VIY team and seeing the great work being done by people his age. He told us:

”I just want to thank you, you have all been so helpful, kind and supportive. Thank you for letting me be part of the VIY team, being a learner was amazing, the help and support I received was amazing, and I want to thank Alan and Sue especially for reaching out to let me be part of VIY. I have enjoyed every minute of it and I hope you will consider me for other jobs and work with VIY because I have had the best time of my life. I hope to see you all again soon.”

Archie, 17 year old volunteer from nearby Attleborough also told us:

“I have really enjoyed the week- everyone has been friendly and welcoming. I have really enjoyed the painting and have learned lots of new skills. This experience has definitely helped me to decide to pursue a career in painting and decorating.”

We’ll hopefully be seeing you again at our project at the Norwich Lads Boxing Club, Bailey and Archie!


Finally, our first project with Nottingham City Council has been at The Pythian Club, an organisation whose aim is to provide sustainable and unique programmes that directly work towards ending youth violence. We’ve been renovating the interior, bringing more ‘vibrancy’ to the exterior with their signature green and generally making the facilities better for the people and services they provide.

We had 16 young people volunteer with us here, including from Care4Calais, offering vital opportunities for refugees fleeing conflict to build skills and experience to help them move forwards with their lives here.

Make sure you’re following us on social where we share regular stories and updates on all of our projects and Team VIY. You’ll find the links just down there in our footer.

If you think an experience on our projects may be great for young people you know or work with, check out our full pipeline of projects coming up across these three regions and beyond across the UK and get in touch here.

* You can find more information, on the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund here.