Croydon Football Club

Completed: 2018
Location: Croydon
Region: London
Other local partners: Sport England, The Kinetic Foundation, Wickes

About the project

Running over five months (April-August 2018), the VIY project at Croydon FC involved building a new changing room and washroom extension to boost the club’s growth and sustainability.

The project was one of 16 funded through Sport England’s Potentials Fund, all aimed at engaging more young people in volunteering via their local sports club at the same time as helping clubs to enable essential facility improvements.

119 young volunteers and 40 trade skills mentors took part at Croydon FC across eight project phases, from initially clearing the site and laying the concrete base, through to the complete construction, fit out and finishing of the extension. In the process, the young volunteers undertook a wide mix of tasks including timber frame carpentry, plasterboarding, drylining, tiling, plumbing and painting and decorating – with 44 participants ultimately achieving an Entry Level 3 City & Guilds construction skills qualification by the end of the project.

The project was also supported by five different Wickes stores through the provision of free tools and materials as well as the contribution of both staff and trade customers as skills mentors for the young volunteers

All of the young people involved were recruited and nominated by local charity The Kinetic Foundation, which helps young people through sport into employment, education and training. Many of the young people, although living locally, were new to the club but since taking part in the VIY project have remained involved.

16 year old participant Nile Waite explains: “I really enjoyed working on the project in the first week so I came back to do more. I’ve gained a City & Guilds qualification, which has been great for my confidence and my prospects, and helping your local sports club feels really good and I’ve signed up to keep volunteering – and playing football! – at the club in the future.”

We are delighted to be working with such a great initiative, which helps connect local young people with our club and benefits them so strongly through gaining qualifications and increasing their chances of employment. James Fotheringham, Chief Operating Officer, Croydon FC
It’s great to be involved in such a worthwhile project, which gets young people excited about helping out in their community. Our staff team has really enjoyed the mentoring aspect and teaching the young volunteers how useful DIY skills can be. Charles Bunn, Store Manager, Wickes Croydon
I'm happy I got involved in the project as it’s something that has helped me and also helped the community. I’ve learnt new skills and gained a City & Guilds qualification and the club has new changing rooms. For anyone thinking about volunteering I would say go and try it. You’ll gain new skills and feel great for doing something that also benefits other people. Fernando Gonzalez, 17 year old volunteer
Through social action, young people such as those involved at Croydon FC can help others get active and benefit themselves in lots of ways. It can do wonders for job and career prospects, mental health and making friends. We’re delighted to be helping VIY to enable more young people to be the catalysts for change in their neighbourhood. Phil Smith, Director of Sport, Sport England