Paddle Plus

Completed: 2023
Location: Leicester
Region: East Midlands
Other local partners: British Canoeing, Paddle Plus, Sport England, Canal and Rivers Trust, Travis Perkins Leicester

About the project

The project:

Paddle Plus wish to work alongside Canal and Rivers Trust to offer paddle sports to more local people in their community, and to partner with their local NHS services to offer self-prescribing services for local people to improve their mental health through paddle sports on the canals and spending time in the peaceful outdoor environment. VIY has helped them create safe storage and socialising areas in an empty shipping container, to help make this vision a reality. Hear more about Paddle Plus and what this space, and this project, means to Shaun, Chair of Paddle Plus, in the video here >>>>>

The young people: 11 young volunteers from Orchard Mead Academy and Birkett House Special School

The impact:

  • 11 Entry Level 3 City & Guilds accreditations gained in Carpentry
  • Safe storage created for canoes to be stored, allowing for paddle sports club activities and self-prescribing services to run for the local community
  • Seating created to enable groups to socialise afterwards, spend time together and reduce isolation
  • A true collective effort from all involved, from our funders, to the Paddle Plus team for helping us get everything sorted, to Travis Perkins Leicester helping us with all of the materials, to the teachers and learners grabbing this opportunity to boost their skills where they otherwise may struggle to learn, and VIY team members for pulling it all together
  • VIY Mentors Mark and Imran praised for their work, and invited to present the certificates to the students of Birkett House at their school assembly celebrating the project
I must say the whole experience has been so valuable for our students, they were happy, hardworking, tired and inspired by the week. Thank you so much. Jenny Barker, Birkett House School
Having lots of little pots of money from lots of different people... means that we could accomplish this in a very short space of time. [Otherwise] we wouldn't have been able to move at the pace we've moved at. [Working with VIY] was a win-win. We had the help setting up the site, the young people have been supported in trying some activities they wouldn't necessarily always get the opportunity to engage with... and with any luck, some of these young people might join our club, they might get some of the benefits of the outdoors. So it's been an absolutely fantastic way of networking and supporting young people. Shaun Monkman, Chair, Paddle Plus