Community Skill Share Shop

Location: Norwich, Norfolk
Region: East of England
Other local partners: NCIL, Dulux, Travis Perkins Norwich

About the project

Once a bakery on the edge of a large housing estate in Norwich, ‘The Shop’ had been vacant for a number of years. Despite some recent use as a pop-up shop, the space was not fit for public use. Following consultation with the local community, the ambition was to transform it into a community skill share hub.

The project: We’ve made this space fit for purpose by creating fitted storage and lockable cupboards, shelving, new flooring and adding an accessible ramp.

The young people: 19 young volunteers from City College Norwich’s Aspire programme, aimed at re-engaging young people at risk of disengaging with mainstream education completed 12+ hours each on the project

The impact:

  • Community group ‘The Common Lot’ has occupied the space since VIY completed the refurbishment and are looking to manage the space on a more permanent basis as a skill share space for the community, to deliver employability support, reduce isolation and promote connectivity
  • Refurbished unit now offers a bright and practical space for the community to meet
  • Positive early levels of engagement, with a number of skill share sessions already taking place, including clothes repair, knitting, arts and crafts, energy saving advice workshop and a visit from Norfolk Wildlife to encourage people to connect with nature, which attracted more than 50 attendees
  • 6 young people had attended a VIY project previously
  • 12 young people who attended The Shop have gone on to attend further VIY projects with us
  • 2 young people have already achieved EET progressions – going onto employment or further training


Accreditations gained: 15 City & Guilds Entry Level 3 in Carpentry, Tiling and Health & Safety

I found this experience eye opening. I have never tried practical work before but have loved it! VIY has given me a career direction and I can't wait to start a carpentry course. The mentors have been great, and I have really enjoyed working with new people. Honey, 17, VIY Volunteer
I was at The Shop today with a few residents and they are very pleased with the positive transformation the VIY Team have made to the Shop. I had a chance to see the young people at work on Friday as well and they were very busy and happy to be part of the project. BRAVO to your team. Judy Omasete, Community Conversations Officer, Norwich City Council