Basingstoke Rugby Club

Completed: 2019
Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire
Region: South East
Other local partners: Sport England, Wickes

About the project

VIY worked with Basingstoke Rugby Club on two Sport England-funded projects in 2018-2019. Basingstoke RFC is a growing club with a strong presence in the local area. They have a rapidly growing female membership and needed to improve their clubhouse facilities to meet this demand. They also wanted to improve disabled access and security and create a new office space.

With these aims in mind, VIY trade skills mentors helped young people at the club to: create new female shower facilities; build a new disabled ramp and install handrails to improve accessibility to the clubhouse; brick up a window in the clubhouse shop which had previously been a security risk, build more outside seating for those less able to stand on match and community days; and refurbish and repurpose a disused storage space as a new office.

28 young people from the club were involved over both projects, 17 of whom gained an Entry Level 3 City & Guilds Accreditation in Carpentry Skills through their participation. The second project at the club was enabled by an all-female team of VIY mentors and young volunteers, affirming both the club’s and VIY’s commitment to female participation in volunteering, sport and construction.

The club was delighted with the outcomes from the two projects, with Chairwoman Michele Amos commenting: “The building works have really made a difference. The ramp and handrails have greatly improved access to the clubhouse for those with restricted mobility or balance. We’ve greatly improved gender access to the shower block and privacy in that area. And the new seating has improved facilities for those who cannot stand for long periods outside the club, especially on match days. We also really enjoyed working with VIY – the mentors were so lovely and they really brought out the best in our young volunteers. The VIY projects have set a great example, and all the young people involved have continued volunteering regularly at the club as a result.”

As a footnote, the improvements made to the club’s facilities through VIY have also helped the club to develop their future plans for growth, and the club has since received a £50,000 RFU grant to extend their facilities further.

I really enjoyed taking part. I’ve learned a lot of practical building skills and achieved a City & Guilds qualification, which is brilliant. And now we all have new showers and everyone is using the new benches outside. We’re getting a lot more people coming to the club. VIY volunteer Georgia Nixon
VIY was great. I’ve learned new things and also met new people and made new friends, and I’ve taken on jobs and challenges that I wouldn't have before. Overall, it’s given me a lot of extra confidence. VIY volunteer James Cox
The VIY projects have set a great example, and all the young people involved have continued volunteering regularly at the club as a result. Club Chairwoman Michele Amos