Nottingham City Council

Working to develop pride in place through renovated community spaces, and develop local people and skills through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Following 23 community projects delivered across Nottinghamshire through the Community Renewal Fund, including The Old Library in Mansfield and West Nottinghamshire College, we’re now working to renovate 14 community spaces in Nottingham City between January 2023 and March 2025, co-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). We’ll be helping to improve their usability, enabling them to engage new audiences, offer new and improved services and increasing the venues’ confidence for their future sustainability. Spaces/clubs offering sports or physical activity will also be match-funded by Sport England.

All through the VIY experience: supporting local young people, aged 16-30, who may be unemployed or economically inactive*, and at risk of becoming unemployed, to learn trade skills and gain qualifications by engaging them as volunteers on the job.

In addition to our young volunteers, we’re also looking to involve local Community Volunteers to support our projects, to help residents take an active stake in their community and develop ownership and a sense of pride for local places and spaces they currently, or could, use and benefit from.

*Young people are generally referred into us by relevant organisations including local authority youth services, care leaver teams and JobCentre Plus. Please get in touch if you know or work with young people who could benefit from this experience, who live in an NG postcode.

Part-funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Nottingham City Council logo

Evolve Nottingham CIC, Strelley

Evolve works across the local neighbourhoods in North Nottingham, a highly deprived area of the city; a local hub of activity to support and provide opportunities for people to help change their own lives. With the help of 23 young volunteers and 5 Community Volunteers, we worked to create a more welcoming space for more people to use from the local community, by repainting the entrance areas, boxing gym and building a brick BBQ so that communities can come together socially over freshly cooked food. Our young volunteers also received careers/jobseeking training whilst on site.

Our students really enjoyed the project. [VIY Mentors] Kate and Kate were fantastic. They were patient, engaging, supportive and encouraged our students to participate in everything. It was lovely to see our students learn new skills, we saw their confidence grow literally overnight. It is projects like this that are so valuable for them, there is no better way to learn. They all came away buzzing about the experience as most of them have never had the opportunity to do anything like this before, so thank you once again.

Melanie Kirk, Teacher, Nethergate Academy

Old Basford Community Centre

We worked to brighten up this wonderful community centre, who provide support and spaces for activity for people with disabilities, to offer a more welcoming experience to visitors, both current and new. With the help of local young volunteers, we redecorated the entrances, main room and toilet facilities, as well as building outdoor seating and planters for visitors and staff to enjoy time outdoors.

Queen’s Walk Community Centre

This popular community centre is a vibrant part of the Meadows area of Nottingham, relied on by many in the local community as a space to socialise and run various activities from, including zumba, line dancing, after-school clubs and English language classes. Their tired, dowdy spaces were in dire need of improvement to invite more groups and classes to run from here. With the help of 18 local young volunteers, and 10 volunteers from Johnson&Johnson (above), the rooms have been revived to be fully utilised by the centre. We also created a bespoke refreshment station using kitchen worktops, for members to have refreshments following classes.

Thank you so much for the opportunity. Jacob got so much from it! All your staff were so good with him and the others. It was not easy to get him there, but on the first day he was proud to take his work high-vis home! His sister told me he had left a note for her to wake him the next day at 8…he’s never done that. So thank you so much… it really was a huge breakthrough for him.

Simeon Hartwig, Nottingham Education, on behalf of Jacob, 16, VIY Volunteer at Queen’s Walk

Hyson Green Youth Club

A youth centre dating back to 1939 in an area of high crime in the city, Hyson Green were looking to expand their offer to local people as winter approaches in the form of a breakfast club for school children, wellbeing cafe and warm space hub for the elderly. To help them put this plan into action, we replaced the existing kitchen in the youth wing and revamped the gym and other areas of the building through redecoration, to make it a more attractive, rentable space for the community to keep active and host community events.

Nottingham Arts Theatre

We helped this city centre theatre turn their large hall upstairs, previously unused due to water damage and clutter, into a usable rehearsal space – now a clean bright space able to accommodate an extra 150-200 young people during the summer holidays for theatre and arts groups, and for external exhibitions and local events. We also transformed less than desirable dressing rooms into creative spaces to attract more acts and groups to hire the theatre. All to ensure financial stability and a brighter future for the theatre.

Match-funded by Barclaycard, who we’re working with to boost grassroots music and arts venues across the country.

Hear more on this project here

Community Record Studio

A brilliant youth work space/charity in St Anns, helping young people learn/master film, music and video skills, particularly those involved in, affected by or at risk of gang violence/crime. We’ve redecorated various rooms inside with vibrant colours – all thanks to our partners at Dulux – with the help of 27 young people from Nottingham College Basford, Nottingham Care Leavers, Westbury Academy and the JobCentre.

CASE STUDY “For the last 4-5 years, I’ve just been lost. My future now looks a lot brighter.” Ali, VIY Volunteer turned Apprentice

We’re working to connect our VIY alumni with positive next steps into further education, training or employment, through our national partnerships with employers like Dulux. Like Ali, who was supported by VIY to secure an apprenticeship with Dulux contractor, Ian Williams.

Ali (pseudonym) first joined us at Evolve Community Centre in Nottingham, a project part-funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund via Nottingham City Council. He was referred via Al-Hurraya, who support young people from ethnic minority and refugee communities in Nottingham to overcome the effects of addiction and crime. He’d dropped out of uni, been injured and out of his beloved boxing, and had been working security since, which he didn’t love.

He told us he wanted to learn as many skills as he could and wanted to renovate houses afterwards. He gained a City & Guilds accreditation in bricklaying with us at the project in Nottingham, and was offered employability support through our Progressions team – who helped him to successfully apply for an opportunity with Ian Williams.

Ali’s now 3 months into his apprenticeship and thriving. He’s currently working on void houses that need general maintenance – things like slab laying/removal of tiles/filling/changing taps and refitting broken doors. “My favourite part is working with my two colleagues and learning from them, they are like my bosses. I’m really enjoying it.”

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