Amber Foundation Devon

29 December 2022

Amber Foundation Surrey

10 May 2024

This is our fourth renovation project with Amber Foundation to-date – a wonderful charity who support young people at risk of homelessness.

Our partnership with Amber is a win-win for spaces and skills – not only have we renovated parts of the buildings young people live in temporarily to help them rebuild healthier lives across three of their sites, those same young people also volunteer with us on other external community projects to gain skills, experience and confidence.

  • 100+ young people volunteering with Amber across 20+ VIY projects
  • 3 of 4 Amber residential centres renovated by VIY – with this our second at their place in Surrey
  • Multiple City & Guilds accreditations gained by Amber volunteers on each project

This is also our first project in partnership with the Shanly Foundation, who wish to have a positive impact on young people and their local communities in which they operate.

Phase 1 – November 2023

We transformed a large piece of overgrown, disused land to create a more useable outdoor area and learning spaces, including building and painting all new brightly coloured seating and furniture and jetwashing their paved areas. We then also replaced old, dishevelled structures with new and converted some disused outdoor buildings into brand new health, wellbeing and therapy spaces, including an external glow-up to make them more inviting and homely.

See Phase 1 here

Phase 2 – April 2024

We then returned to design and fit completely new roofing across three stables, which were dilapidated and covered with holes, turning previously unusable spaces into rooms for learning, IT, 1:1s and art. We then boarded out and redecorated a fourth room, for the team to use for further learning and training for the young people supported by Amber. The new roofing was funded by the Wooden Spoon Charity.

See more of Phase 2 here


The impact across the whole project:

  • Transforming both their outdoor and damaged indoor spaces, creating brand new spaces for teamwork and personal development that wouldn’t have existed otherwise
  • 33 unique young people supported by Amber trained in construction skills, helping to improve their environment they call home
  • 35 City & Guilds trade skills accreditations gained in Carpentry, Health & Safety and Painting & Decorating
  • Following his VIY experience on Phase 1, Tyler has since successfully progressed away from Amber, gaining his CSCS card and gaining a job in roofing!
  • Kieran (pictured right) has also successfully moved away from Amber and is studying Biology with the Open University
  • Patrick and Jamie, aged 25 and 24, were coached as Peer Mentors on the project, leading their own groups of peers on sections of the work and sharing their skills they’ve bolstered with VIY
  • Introduced Clarion Housing as an employability partner for future collaborative work and entry into the industry for some Amber learners, alongside support from VIY’s Progressions team


Take a look at our impact so far elsewhere with Amber Foundation:

Boosting wellbeing at Trowbridge

Creating inspiring spaces in Devon

Success story: helping Angel take his next steps

Helping young people like Vanessa to build a brighter future

Amber residents repeat volunteering with VIY

Amber Foundation Trowbridge

21 September 2022

One of our principal Trade Partners, Dulux, sponsors Channel 4’s revamp of the popular show, Changing Rooms. They wanted to make sure the leftover paint from the show was put to good use and not wasted. Step in one of our longest-serving youth partners, the Amber Foundation, and their residence in Trowbridge, Wiltshire – a wonderful organisation who help young people at risk of homelessness build better, brighter futures – and the third Amber residence we’ve helped to improve since 2021.

The project:

Over 13 days in August and September, VIY teamed up with the young people living at Amber Trowbridge to transform some of their living and learning spaces, including their gym, music rooms and outdoor buildings – plain storage spaces lacking inspiration for the young people improving their lives through Amber there.

Come September, it was all hands on deck as Team VIY were joined by a whopping 26 volunteers from our partners including: the Amber staff team, including their CEO Paul Rosam, colleagues from Dulux and those who supported the Channel 4 Changing Rooms production, who mentored and worked alongside the fab young people from Amber.

We were delighted to have Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director for Dulux, help us pre-project to design the colourways for two interiors and all of the outdoor exteriors, as well as her fair painting hand on site too.

The young people: 18 young people who call Amber Foundation Trowbridge their home

The impact:

  • Outdoor learning and wellbeing spaces transformed with the creation of an office for their on-site psychotherapist and a group wellbeing room
  • Transformation of their gym and music rooms, including equipment donations from our Lead Mentor Andy and PM Graham
  • Baby grand piano decorated with bespoke ‘splatter’ design using leftovers of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s favourite bold hues in Dulux’s quick dry gloss!
  • Bespoke paint design from Dulux Creative Director Marianne Shillingford to inspire calm and positive wellbeing, framing the rooms with blissful blues and greys, with the calming, natural tones showcased on the outside
  • Clearer, brighter, bolder spaces to inspire positive wellbeing, learning and growing in the young people at Amber, and for their on-site teams too

Match-funded by Sport England.

Accreditations gained: 17 Entry Level 3 City & Guilds accreditations gained in Painting & Decorating, Carpentry and Health & Safety

See how the project helped Amber’s young people here

Centrepoint Barnet Foyer

9 June 2023

Merryville House

31 August 2020

Project: we converted an empty townhouse into a new nine-bed supported accommodation unit for Youth Concern, a charity providing support, information and guidance for vulnerable young people aged 13 – 25 years old in Aylesbury Vale. The residence is used to house young people at risk of homelessness in Aylesbury.

This was also the first project supported by Dulux, who have now become one of our key National Trade Partners. They donate all of the paint and painting materials to all of our projects, their colleagues and customers support our projects as mentors and volunteers and we are now working to gain further work experience and placements for our young volunteers with their customers and contractors. You can read more about this partnership here.

Volunteers: 10 young volunteers supported by Youth Concern, supported by staff volunteers from Dulux

Fun fact: Jojo started as a VIY volunteer (pictured painting on the right in picture 9 on the stairs) and has now been a Project Executive/Youth Engagement Co-ordinator with VIY since 2021!

Skills and accreditations earned: throughout the nine rooms in the building, our young learners and Dulux volunteers got involved with plastering, plumbing tiling and decorating to transform this place into a welcoming home for young people through Youth Concern.

Hear about the project here on BBC Three Counties


Outreach Homes

10 May 2024