Projects

Pembroke House

Completed: 2019
Location: Walworth
Region: London
Other local partners: Greater London Authority, South Thames College, University Academy of Engineering

About the project

Pembroke House works in support of social action and residential community in Walworth, South London. They run several community engagement programmes covering activities and themes such as music and arts, health and wellbeing, and education and learning.

In early 2019, the charity was set to take on an old church hall – All Saints Hall – to be repurposed as ‘Walworth’s Living Room’, a new venue intended to be a focal point for the local area. However, the hall had been empty for a long period of time, and needed extensive renovation work to make it safe and fit for purpose, so Pembroke House applied to VIY for help via the GLA’s Good Growth Fund to enable a first stage refurbishment of the main hall.

VIY proceeded to undertake several phases of work at All Saints Hall, covering a complete strip out, including a previously installed hung ceiling, refurbishing three washrooms and installing a new disabled WC, redecorating the main hall and side hall, and sanding and lacquering the original parquet floor. These works involved 86 young people  from the local area, including referrals from South Thames College and the University Academy of Engineering, a local secondary school. 29 of the young volunteers also successfully gained a City & Guilds Entry Level qualification in painting and decorating.

The building was totally transformed by the project with Mike Wilson, CEO at Pembroke House, commenting: “The young people and VIY mentors have transformed All Saints Hall from a dark and dilapidated old church hall into a characterful community space filled with light. We can’t wait to show off the young people’s work as we open the doors to the wider community – and having young people from the local community help to restore the venue has been central to the project.”

I want to express my sincere thanks for the work experience opportunities you have provided for a number of our construction learners over the past five weeks at All Saints Hall. This has proven to be a fantastic experience, and the learners have developed skills, confidence and a much greater understanding of the world of work. I have found working with you, and the Mentors, to be an absolute pleasure. VIY has been hugely professional, flexible and supportive throughout. I really hope that we can continue to work together. Chris Dodd, Head of Employability, South Thames College
The young people and mentors from VIY have transformed All Saints Hall from a dark and dilapidated old church hall into a characterful community space filled with light, a beautiful floor and some impressive new plumbing. We can't wait to show off the young people's work as we open the doors to the wider community, a new venue for people of all ages to meet, eat and get connected to other activities and opportunities. Having people from the local community help us restore the venue to use has been central to the project.