Celebrating nine projects and 200 accreditations with Toolstation

13 April 2023

We’re celebrating two milestones with one of our key trade partners, Toolstation, whilst working together on the redecoration of TPF Gymnastics Club in Norwich; home to gymnastics, parkour and free-running, the space is also used by a local cubs and scouts group. In total the facilities are currently used by around 200 locals aged between 4-20 years.

The aim of the project was to improve the surroundings for all users and attract new members.  As well as the brightly coloured paint work, we’ve upgraded the male and female toilets by installing glazed tiling, mirrors and a new coat of paint.  

Co-funded as part of our programme with Norwich City Council and match-funded by Sport England, we’ve created a more vibrant space that reflects the energy and positivity happening in the club. 

The colour scheme using bright paintwork including yellow and orange was chosen following feedback and requests from users of the facilities. The paint was donated as part of our trade partnership with Dulux, with the colour scheme being chosen from Toolstation’s Dulux Paint Tinting Service

Chrissie Roe, Founder of the club, has already seen huge interest since the redecoration: “This gym is a vital space for local young people to come to feel safe, be with their friends and do something energetic in a secure environment off the streets. The new modern murals and  our new toilets will massively help to inspire them further, and for us to attract new members with a great first impression when they come to check us out. Since the work has been going on, we’ve received such amazing feedback in person and online, that many new people have been phoning to find out how they can join the club and previous members returning from before the pandemic.”

The logo and mural artwork were created by Kevin Parker, a local community street artist, who also created our gamechanging mural at Kaset Skatepark.

Kevin said: “It’s great to bring an old building like this back to life, give it some vibrance. I’ve loved working with VIY again on another important community building in Norfolk, helping inspire our local young people to do something positive through the power of paint and parkour!”

The project saw over 20 young volunteers between the ages of 16-20 pledge up to a week’s work on the project, with 60% of participants being awarded a City & Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditation in Painting & Decorating. Eight volunteers from the club and local community also helped to prepare the venue before the works began.

Most of the volunteers have joined through the Aspire Progression programme, a re-engagement initiative through City College Norwich to support those whose education may have been disrupted or those looking for an alternative pathway to gaining skills.

Millie, 16, volunteered at TPF Gymnastics, her fourth project with VIY and her fourth City & Guilds accreditation, having already achieved Entry Level 3 in Carpentry, Health & Safety and Brickwork.  After gaining her fourth accreditation here in Painting & Decorating, she’s now taking this further, going on to study art at City College Norwich in September.

“With the first [VIY] project, it was more trial and error, seeing what it’d be like not being in a classroom all the time, instead of college. And then it turns out I really like being outdoorsy, I like learning new things that I hadn’t learned before, and in turn, I’ve used them outside of this as well. I’ve learned a lot from VIY.  This project has been my favourite as I really enjoy painting and decorating, I find it therapeutic. Brickwork was actually a really good one because I didn’t really expect there to be so many different components to laying brick!”

Toolstation plans on co-funding a further four VIY projects throughout the year and in 2023 has set a target to help over 100 young people gain qualifications and consider a career in the trade. 

Forrest Brown, Regional Manager at Toolstation, visited the project and said: “It’s brilliant to witness VIY enriching lives with passionate mentors helping to develop young people not in employment or education. This project had a real community feel and its great to see the engagement with younger people. VIY offers an excellent environment to learn new skills, share stories and get advice.” 

Greg Richardson, Head of Marketing at Toolstation says: “We’re passionate about our partnership with the VIY team, and I’m delighted to continue to support their work with the TPF Gymnastics Club in Norwich.  This project illustrates the power of paint by creating a vibrant place to meet and learn for the local community, and it will also encourage young people to develop confidence and learn practical trade and building skills and earn a qualification.”

Head here to see our previous community projects in partnership with Toolstation