CEO shortlisted for Special Recognition

17 October 2023 | All News

The nomination comes after co-founding the organisation over 11 years ago and leading it as a Community Interest Company since 2015.

Our co-founder and CEO, Tim Reading, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Special Recognition category at this year’s On The Tools awards.

The awards, hosted by On The Tools – the UK’s largest online construction based community, celebrate the best of UK construction – across a range of trade categories and awards including Community Hero and Training Excellence, culminating in the Tradesperson of the Year award. See the winners of the 2022 awards here.

The Special Recognition category celebrates those who dedicate extra commitment to raising the profile of the trade, across themes like skills, mental health and social media.

Here’s what the nomination means to Tim in his own words:

Having co-founded and led VIY since its creation as a Community Interest Company in 2015, I’ve seen VIY grow from a first single project in south London to now having helped more than 14,000 young people to learn vocational trade skills whilst renovating over 800 local community places UK-wide, such as youth clubs, community centres, village halls, grassroots sports clubs and public green spaces. I’ve also been lucky enough to share that journey with my fellow co-founder, and now VIY COO, Ed Sellwood.

The young people who take part in VIY projects, all of whom are typically not in employment, education or training or at risk of disengagement, are mentored by experienced tradespeople, just like the thousands who are part of the wonderful On The Tools community. I’ve always felt that these mentors are the rocket fuel behind the VIY model, taking time to work alongside young people and share their skills and experience and inspiring them to consider construction as a rewarding and accessible career pathway.

We’ve grown appreciably since starting out, thanks to a multitude of cross-sector partners and funders, including local authorities, construction companies, homebuilders, sport governing bodies and brands that serve tradespeople everyday like Dulux , Toolstation and Travis Perkins. But it still feels like we’ve only just started and we’re determined to expand our offer to reach and benefit more places and people in need over the coming years.

In the meantime, to be shortlisted alongside other brilliant people creating change in the industry, as well as all the wonderful tradespeople recognised in other categories, is very humbling indeed.

We’ll be rooting for you on the night, Tim!