Amber Foundation Surrey

19 October 2023

This will be our fourth renovation project with Amber Foundation to-date, and our second at Amber Foundation Surrey – 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. Helping young people like Vanessa to build a brighter future.

  • 50+ young people volunteering with Amber across 20+ VIY projects
  • 3 of 4 Amber residential centres renovated by VIY
  • Multiple City & Guilds accreditations gained by Amber volunteers on one or more projects

The project

This is also our first project in partnership with Shanly Homes, a large homebuilder in the South East and the Shanly Foundation, who are looking to have a positive impact on young people and their local communities in which they operate.

Phase 1 – November 2023

19 young people, all residents supported by Amber in Surrey, cleared a large piece of overgrown land and jetwashed their paved area to create a more useable outdoor area. This has made way for more outdoor learning spaces, where we replaced old, dishevelled structures with new and converting some disused outdoor buildings into brand new health, wellbeing and therapy spaces, including an external glow-up to make them more inviting and homely. All with the help of our VIY Trade Mentors.

See Phase 1 here

Phase 2 – Spring 2024

We will then be repairing and replacing roofing in their stables, to enable us to create a whole new usable room, by boarding out and redecorating, for the team to use for further learning and training for the young people supported by Amber.

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

Boosting wellbeing at Trowbridge

Creating inspiring spaces in Devon

Success story: helping Angel take his next steps

Amber residents repeat volunteering with VIY

Centrepoint Barnet Foyer

9 June 2023

Amber Foundation Devon

29 December 2022

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

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