‘The secret is belief. Belief in the youth, belief in myself and belief in my team.’
On Wednesday 11th July at 5.30pm the ‘Volunteer it Yourself’ (VIY) Project launched at Pedro Youth Club in Hackney, East London. A personal thank you was made from Rosie Ferguson, CEO of London Youth, to Harriett Brooks of Access Sport who partnered with James Cook, Club Leader, to bring the project to Pedro Youth Club.
Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) is an ambitious new programme aimed at giving young people aged 14 upwards the chance to gain accredited construction and DIY skills while refurbishing their local youth centres.
London Youth is rolling out the Volunteer it Yourself (VIY) project nationally, backed by major investment from the Big Lottery Fund and in partnership with The Co-Sponsorship Agency, Wickes and City & Guilds..
Wickes spokesman Tony Holdway said “Last month, government figures revealed that the proportion of 16 to 18 year olds not in education, employment or training has risen by 8%. In parallel we know that although 60% of tradespeople entered the trade through being an apprentice, a staggering 82% do not currently employ an apprentice. The VIY project bridges these two problems and provides an effective solution; training apprentice-ready young people to address a specific industry need.”
Harriett Brooks has worked closely with James Cook, Pedro Youth Club’s Leader, to recruit young people from the local estate to get involved.
Kevin, a local lad, got involved in the project and explains, “I’m from the local area and want to learn and do something for myself. I have been hanging out in the youth club for a few years and James does so much for us. I wanted to give something back. Working with professional tradesman is going to give me skills I can take forward.”
Tradespeople involved are customers of Wickes and are local to where the club is based. They are volunteering their time as VIY Mentors and Chris Thomas said why he got involved. “I am looking for an apprentice. I was an apprentice for 3 years and want to help young people out with practical skills that us tradesman possess from experience. This project allows that.”
VIY is currently scheduled to be running at Pedro Youth Club over the next 6 weeks. Keep an eye out for updates as the young people learn more skills!