Home Explore Employers and support organisations (VIY) Volunteer It Yourself

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Young people learning trade skills whilst helping the community.

Volunteer It Yourself combines DIY and volunteering by challenging young people aged 14-24 to help repair and refurbish youth and community facilities, whilst learning vocational trade skills on the job. We also deliver ‘early intervention’ construction sector employability skills and careers training for 10-14 year olds in schools.

VIY participants are mentored by local professional tradespeople and can work towards and gain Entry Level City & Guilds trade skills accreditations, and the majority of young people who take part are disengaged or excluded (or at risk of disengagement/exclusion) from mainstream education and training, and/or unemployed.

Since 2011, 12,000+ young people have volunteered at 600+ VIY projects UK-wide, supported by 1,000+ trade skills mentors. Outcomes include 60% of all participants achieving the Entry Level 3 City & Guilds skills qualification and 25% of NEET participants aged 16+ progressing to further training or employment. 65% of participants also report increased confidence levels across seven key personal skills linked to employability.


Volunteer it Yourself are recipients of the Community Renewal Fund, and alongside Norfolk County Council we are delivering 9 projects across Norfolk. These are FREE opportunities for young people aged 16- 24 years to gain hands on experience whilst contributing to much loved buildings in their communities.

We will be working across a variety of projects and spaces in:

  • Norwich
  • North Norfolk
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. 

By taking part in VIY you will :

Learn new trade skills /Work alongside professional tradespeople/Meet new people and make friends/Build your confidence/Gain a City & Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditation/Do something good and positive for your  community.

We are offering one-week placements and looking for groups of 6/7 young people per week. Young people would ideally be on site for one week from Tuesday - Thursday/Friday, from 10:00AM - 3:00PM (this may be flexible upon request). 

In order to access accreditation opportunities, young people will need to complete at least two days on site. This is a free opportunity for young people and VIY can also provide assistance with transport and lunch upon request, depending on circumstance.

Live and Upcoming projects

Kingfisher Amateur Boxing Club, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth (NR31 6PT). We will be upgrading the facilities at this high impact community boxing club, with a range of trades skills on offer. 

Started 21/03/2022 - 3 week duration *limited space available next week!!!*

Norwich Lads ABC, Norwich (NR1 2PL). This larger project will see the rejuvenation of the boxing club for the increasing numbers of young users, including more accessible facilities for their expanding demographic.

Starts 4/04/2022 - 5 week duration *limited space available w/c 12th April & w/c 3rd May*

The Community Hut @ East Norfolk College, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth (NR31 7BQ). We will be giving this community space a revamp with a wonderful new garden and refurbished indoor facilities. 

Starts 18/04/2022 - 5 week duration

More to follow- keep an eye on our page for new projects!

Don't take our word for it!

Here's what some recent participants and referral agencies in Norfolk had to say about taking part;

Archie, 17, from Attleborough, says,

“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.”

Lucy Hughes, from the Aspire Project @ City College Norwich, says

“What a fantastic project. The students have developed not only their practical skills but also their confidence from working with new people. The mentors have been knowledgeable and patient with all the young people. I hope VIY come back to Norfolk to benefit our young people!”

Case Studies

"Once you learn a trade, you're okay. You'll always be able to make a living." Kayleigh Morris – a VIY volunteer

As a complete novice, Kayleigh, from Hackney, took part in skills sessions at VIY’s north London Hub project, on the Northumberland Park Estate in Haringey, in 2015. Through her participation she achieved City & Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditations in carpentry and plumbing, and her VIY experience inspired her to start a construction skills course at Lambeth College. This also led to Kayleigh being offered a two-year apprenticeship by Pimlico Plumbers, a VIY employer partner. She qualified in 2018 and now works full-time with Pimlico Plumbers, whilst also still serving as an ambassador for VIY. Kayleigh sees trade skills as a job for life: “Once you learn a trade, you’re okay. You’ll always be able to make a living.”

"I'd never considered learning a trade before doing VIY, but now I have an apprenticeship. "Shamak Czachowski 

A VIY volunteer Shamak, from Haringey in north London, was NEET (not in employment, education or training) prior to signing up to participate in a local VIY project, aged 17, having been referred via Job Centre Plus. Over four weeks on the Eric Allin Centre project in Tottenham, Shamak committed more than 50 volunteer hours, at the same time as working towards and achieving Entry Level 3 City & Guilds accreditations in both plumbing and tiling. In the process, Shamak so impressed one of the local building and construction companies (Ideal Handyman) providing skills mentors on the project, they offered him a paid apprenticeship, in conjunction with the College of North East London. Shamak’s journey has also gone full circle, with him now volunteering in his spare time with VIY as a peer mentor for young people on new VIY projects across north London.

For more information and to register email outreach@teamyviy.com

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