Projects

Youth Concern Drop-In Centre

Completed: 2018
Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
Region: South East
Wickes local store partner(s): Aylesbury
Other local partners: Rothschild Foundation, Heart of Bucks (Bucks Community Foundation)

About the project

Youth Concern supports young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, and VIY has run two projects at the charity’s drop-in centre in Aylesbury. The centre was in real need of refurbishment and the projects were a great opportunity for many of the young people who attend the centre to get involved in something different and to gain new skills and an employability accreditation.

The first project, in 2017, covered the interior redecoration of the centre as well as the building of a new outside decking area and external storage shed (to free up much-needed meeting space within the centre). The second project, in 2018, focused on replacing the centre’s perimeter fence and main gate.

Both projects were supported by Wickes Aylesbury with staff providing additional mentoring support, in addition to donating all the tools and materials. A grant from Heart of Bucks also contributed to the delivery of the projects.

18 young people aged 19-25 participated over the two projects, contributing more than 500 volunteer hours. All were referred by Youth Concern and the local Job Centre Plus, with the majority being long-term unemployed. Ultimately, 14 of the young people taking part successfully achieved the Entry Level 3 City & Guilds employability skills qualification, and three of them also progressed into employment within three months of finishing on VIY.  Some of the young volunteers also subsequently went on to take part in the Golden Mede VIY project based at a new housing development outside of Aylesbury, building their skills further and gaining paid work opportunities with the lead contractor on site.