Young People

Free work experience opportunities to do #SomethingConstructive.

Young people volunteering and learning new skills
Skill up on community projects
Tradespeople mentoring and passing on their skills
Learn from trade professionals
Community facilities refurbished and transformed
Build your future

How does it work?

Volunteering with VIY is like a free work experience opportunity.

It’s pretty simple – young people volunteer on a VIY project, where we’re renovating a vital community space in need of maintenance or improvement. They’re mentored and supported to work alongside professional tradespeople to complete the project as a team on site, as well as developing key life skills together.

They also have the opportunity to gain City & Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditations in skills like carpentry, painting & decorating, health & safety, tiling and brickwork.

We work with young people aged 14-24 (some age ranges may vary per programme), who may be NEET (not in education, employment or training), or deemed at risk of becoming so, including young people with special educational needs and/or a disability.

CASE STUDY I’m now loving my decorating course Honey, Norwich

Honey was previously home-schooled then found herself NEET at 16. She joined the NEET re-engagement provision at City College Norwich to build her confidence and explore progression options for the future. Honey struggled in the classroom environment finding staying focused challenging. Honey pushed herself outside of her comfort zone to give the VIY project at Drayton Road, Norwich, a try – turns out she loved it! Honey really enjoyed being practical and getting stuck in. As a result, Honey is now training in Level 1 Painting & Decorating at City College Norwich!

Honey told us: “I found this experience eye opening. I have never tried practical work before but have loved it! VIY has given me a career direction and I can’t wait to start my next course in Painting & Decorating at college. The mentors have been great, and I have really enjoyed working with new people.”

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CASE STUDY “They stepped up from volunteer to Peer Mentor really well.” Liam & Kelsie

Liam Bensley and Kelsie Ferguson both joined us at our Community Hub project at East Norfolk College. Liam, who was unemployed at the time, was referred into VIY via the local DWP, Kelsie a student at the college looking for different skills and volunteering opportunities over the summer. Having enjoyed the VIY experience so much, and impressing our mentors along the way, both returned to our Gorleston Community Room project in partnership with Orbit Housing. Since, both Liam and Kelsie have received paid work with VIY as Peer Mentors on three further projects across Norfolk, helping to teach other young volunteers just like them, alongside Jasper and Matt, our Lead Mentors in Norfolk.

They’ve achieved seven City & Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditations between them, Liam achieving an additional qualification in pipework.

VIY Lead Mentor, Simon Kitson, one of the key mentors who have helped develop the pair through multiple VIY projects, said: “They’ve both really stepped up from volunteer to Mentor really well, which can sometimes be a tricky transition. Not only that, I taught Kelsie how to saw some wood and the next week she was putting this learning into action, teaching another young volunteer in the exact same way! The true role of a VIY Peer Mentor.”

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