Making our mark in Norfolk – UK Community Renewal Fund

28 April 2022 | All News

As of 2022, we’re lucky to be working with three local councils through the UK Community Renewal Fund*, a UK Government programme for 2021/22, which aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. Young people in these counties have so far gained 100 Entry Level 3 City & Guilds accreditations as part of this programme.

Norfolk County Council is one of these new local authorities and an emerging region for VIY, where we are working across a number of Opportunity Areas to provide new skills and work experience opportunities: Great Yarmouth, Kings Lynn & West Norfolk, North Norfolk & Norwich. Here’s what we’ve been up to so far across our first three projects and what we have coming up!

YOUNG PEOPLE AND YOUTH ORGANISATIONS: If you’re interested in joining an upcoming project in Norfolk as a young person (aged 16-24) or as an opportunity for young people you work with, please get in touch via

What we’ve done so far

After getting off to a flying start at The Phoenix Centre in Norwich, we’ve since been hard at work at Cromer Artspace, contributing to the long-awaited, ongoing restoration of this treasured seafront art deco space refreshing the interior paintwork and adding toilet and kitchen facilities.

We then headed to Kingfisher Amateur Boxing Club in Great Yarmouth where we’ve been refreshing the interior of the gym floor, including a snazzy new mural of their logo, as well as a new kit storage and reception area at this high impact community club. We’ve had 14 young people join us from our long-time youth partner, Catch-22, who deliver public services that build resilience and aspiration in people and communities, and what an impact they’ve had on the club. 

One young volunteer from Great Yarmouth, Billy, aged 24, who was referred through the DWP, really enjoyed the experience and has now also joined another VIY project at East Norfolk Sixth Form College:

“I enjoyed the course very much, I was feeling anxious at first but the trainers (our Trade Mentors and team) were very understanding and made me feel really comfortable. It’s kept me busy and helped me build my confidence.”

Andrew Smith, Club Manager at Kingfisher also told us:

“Kingfisher are very happy and thankful for the work carried out by Team VIY. Jasper and his team did a great job with our gym and the mural at the gym came out superb. The gym now has a more professional look with the reception area also. Many thanks to all for the great work carried out.”

We’ve worked with some ace young people across the county so far, from the likes of longstanding VIY youth partner, Catch-22, Aspire Project at City College Norwich and the local DWP, as well as many others. Many have achieved Entry Level 3 City & Guilds Accreditations which can help them take the next step in their future.

Boxing clubs: round two

We’ve knocked it out of the park at Norwich Lads Amateur Boxing Club, a historic club in the area established in 1918, as a space for promising young boxers to train and reach their potential. There, we’ve improved facilities and accessibility for a wider demographic, including more young female boxers. BBC Radio Norfolk’s The Social: the show for young people in Norfolk even came down down to see us and featured some of our young volunteers on their show (skip to 2:08:40 to hear us)!

Young refugees, pictured in blue overalls, supported onto the VIY project by City College Norwich, meet Lord Mayor of Norwich, Dr Kevin Maguire (centre) and Chairman of Norwich Lads Amateur Boxing Club, Colin Bates (left)

We’ve also completed College Community Hub Project at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, where we’ve refurbished the indoors and garden areas to improve facilities and make this a multi-functional space for use by the wider community. 

What we’re doing now and what’s coming up!

Next up we’ll be at Marlpit Community Garden in Norwich, creating a wellbeing garden and facilities with the Sustainable Living Initiative, before heading onto Alive West Norfolk Kaset Skatepark, our third ever skatepark project, where we’re building new skateboarding training areas and sprucing up their community cafe area with the help of Dulux.

Click here to keep up to date with the next projects coming up in Norfolk and our full pipeline of projects elsewhere across the country.

*For more information on the UK Community Renewal Fund, visit prospectus