The heart of a VIY project; professional tradespeople sharing skills, experience and supporting our young volunteers to take positive next steps into the construction industry.

What do our Trade Skills Mentors do?

Our Mentor team is made up of Lead Mentors, Support Mentors and Volunteer Mentors – they are all crucial to ensuring our young volunteers have a brilliant, potentially life changing experience with VIY; sharing your skills and experience, boosting their confidence and ambition through conversation, by working on a community project together.

You might be a tradesperson looking to:

  • deepen your connections and impact on your local community
  • do meaningful work with purpose
  • keep active in retirement or semi-retirement
  • learn new skills
  • find a different kind of project

Want to get involved elsewhere?

If you’ve got the skills, desire to inspire the next generation and work with patience and empathy, follow these three simple steps:

  1. See if there’s a project local to you to get involved with here
  2. Take a look at our roles below and read our VIY Mentor FAQs
  3. Register your interest by completing the form below

*All mentors are inducted, DBS-checked (those volunteering or working with VIY for two or more days) and briefed by VIY prior to starting work, and are fully supported throughout their involvement.

Our Mentor Roles

Full-time Lead Mentor

Our Lead Mentors are experienced Mentors who work full-time for VIY and lead our community projects on the ground, taking charge of the construction work on site and the experience for our young learners. Just like Alan here, our longest-serving Lead Mentor of 8+ years.

Volunteer Trade Mentor

Experienced tradespeople giving their time to share their skills and experience with the next generation. Just like Bill, who volunteered for months before becoming a full-time Mentor with VIY.

Register your interest here to volunteer with us

Support Mentor

Mentors who regularly support our community projects and the mentoring of VIY learners, alongside our Lead Mentors. Just like Kate, who has supported over 15 VIY projects over three years.

Junior/Peer Mentor

Building our own next generation. For young volunteers who enjoy working with VIY and show flair to join one of our regional teams in a paid capacity, where we’re able to do so. Just like Jada here, who joined VIY through the UK Government’s Kickstart scheme, and then continued to work with us as a Junior Skills Mentor.

CASE STUDY “I was so impressed by the work of one of the young people I mentored, I offered her a part time job.” Bella Hindle

“I’m a self employed painter and decorator from Southend, and I have so far mentored on a couple of local VIY projects and I can honestly say it’s been an eye-opener. The young people really put the effort into the work and learning new skills, and often spoke about how optimistic they were about their futures now that they’re learning a trade. Some even discussed their ambition to embark on a painting and decorating career as a self-employed tradesperson and it became clear to me that this project not only gives young people a trade but also builds confidence and gives them a passion for their next steps in life.

“I believe that VIY is changing lives as well as helping to improve community venues and buildings, and it’s definitely a valuable experience for any young person who decides to give it a go. I would also recommend getting involved as a skills mentor to other tradespeople. I’ve only just started out with VIY and I will definitely help on more projects.”
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CASE STUDY “I thought he could actually be my apprentice” Sean Kelly, Armstead Skills Volunteer

“My highlight was one young person who inspired ME. At the beginning he wasn’t very engaged, but by the afternoon, I thought he could actually be my apprentice!”

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