VIY expands work across Norfolk tackling loneliness and isolation

13 November 2023

We’re excited to be working with Norfolk Community Foundation through the UK Government Know Your Neighbourhood Fund to renovate six community spaces over the next 18 months in Great Yarmouth, all with the aim of increasing volunteering and tackling isolation in the community.

Since 2022, thanks to support from the likes of UK Community Renewal Fund, Orbit Housing and Norwich Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL), we have refurbished 29 community spaces in Norfolk, including grassroots sports clubs like Norwich Lads Boxing Club, creating a growing garden space in Holt Youth Project and transforming the newly reopened Gorleston Community Hub. In total we’ve enabled over 250 volunteering experiences for young people in the county.

Our first project in partnership with Norfolk Community Foundation has seen us work with the Norfolk and Suffolk Islamic Mission, a local charity based at the Masjid-At Tauweed on Northgate Street – the first mosque built in Great Yarmouth and the surrounding areas over 20 years ago. We’ve modernised the kitchen area and redecorated rooms in their community space, to make it a more welcoming space for those coming to pray, to be with others and take part in community activities.

Working through the People From Abroad team through Norfolk County Council, 29 young people built their skills, confidence and a brighter future by volunteering on this project, as they settle into life with refugee status in the UK. In total, over 80 young people supported by this team have volunteered across four other VIY projects in the local area, including at New Routes Integration, a centre which supports refugees with housing, employability and social integration, and Norfolk Community Arts – a space for people from all backgrounds including those with disabilities to be involved in music.

We’re looking forward to five more projects in Great Yarmouth – with the next to come early in the new year.

VIY Mentor Dom guides young learners at our project with Norfolk & Suffolk Islamic Mission

First projects completed with the Community Renewal Fund

18 March 2022


Our first project with Nottinghamshire County Council has seen an internal refresh of the halls at Vibrant Warsop Methodist Church, a building which hosts a range of community activities. We had 11 young volunteers from local colleges and the DWP, learning painting and decorating and health & safety on site. Thanks for kicking us off in the region, team!


Over with Norfolk County Council, we’ve certainly made an impression on the Phoenix Centre, a place serving the local community through food banks, children’s activities and services and where we were welcomed with open arms by the team. After we’d finished our three week project refreshing their interiors, the team even put on a lovely buffet to thank all of the team and young people for their hard work.

Bailey was one of 14 participants, and a young, regular volunteer local to the centre, who struggles in mainstream education. After watching from the sidelines for a week, he was then encouraged to get involved by the VIY team and seeing the great work being done by people his age. He told us:

”I just want to thank you, you have all been so helpful, kind and supportive. Thank you for letting me be part of the VIY team, being a learner was amazing, the help and support I received was amazing, and I want to thank Alan and Sue especially for reaching out to let me be part of VIY. I have enjoyed every minute of it and I hope you will consider me for other jobs and work with VIY because I have had the best time of my life. I hope to see you all again soon.”

Archie, 17 year old volunteer from nearby Attleborough also told us:

“I have really enjoyed the week- everyone has been friendly and welcoming. I have really enjoyed the painting and have learned lots of new skills. This experience has definitely helped me to decide to pursue a career in painting and decorating.”

We’ll hopefully be seeing you again at our project at the Norwich Lads Boxing Club, Bailey and Archie!


Finally, our first project with Nottingham City Council has been at The Pythian Club, an organisation whose aim is to provide sustainable and unique programmes that directly work towards ending youth violence. We’ve been renovating the interior, bringing more ‘vibrancy’ to the exterior with their signature green and generally making the facilities better for the people and services they provide.

We had 16 young people volunteer with us here, including from Care4Calais, offering vital opportunities for refugees fleeing conflict to build skills and experience to help them move forwards with their lives here.

Make sure you’re following us on social where we share regular stories and updates on all of our projects and Team VIY. You’ll find the links just down there in our footer.

If you think an experience on our projects may be great for young people you know or work with, check out our full pipeline of projects coming up across these three regions and beyond across the UK and get in touch here.

* You can find more information, on the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund here.