Young Volunteers Make a Stand
Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) is a social enterprise that aims to teach young people, aged from 14-24, trade skills by helping them repair or improve community buildings
Since 2011 VIY has run more than 300 projects with over 6,000 young people across the country, refurbishing sports clubs, youth clubs, schools, community centres, housing and more. Wickes are a key partner, donating materials and tools in kind to all VIY projects. VIY also receive funding from a number of different public and charitable organisations, one of which is Sport England.
As part of VIY’s Sport England funded work, VIY ran a two day project at Hertford Town FC to repaint the club’s stands, in partnership with Simon Balle School, which is local to the club. Hertford Town FC has recently come under new management, who are keen to breathe new life back into the club. Ben Herd, the new manager, also runs the Ben Herd Academy in Simon Balle School, which helps teenagers get into football without sacrificing their education.
As part of the club’s bid to regenerate the club and grounds, and improve their presence in the local community, they asked VIY to support students from Simon Balle on a project to repaint the club’s stands. 24 students from the school participated over the two days, with 20 of them gaining City and Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditations in Painting and Decorating or Health and Safety. Over half of the students who participated had also volunteered on a previous VIY project, and they’re all eager to do more in the new term.
One young person who stood out across both of these projects was Ellis Keen, 14, from the Simon Balle school. Ellis showed a lot of enthusiasm when he came to Hertford Cricket Club and we were delighted when he volunteered again for the project at Hertford Town FC. Here he got the opportunity to gain a City and Guilds Painting and Decorating accreditation and continue engaging with VIY’s mentors, who he found really inspiring. He enjoyed this experience so much he is now firmly considering becoming a decorator as a career.
This highlights the impact VIY can make on young people’s attitudes towards sports, volunteering and their long-term employment prospects. Here’s Ellis’ experience in his own words:
“I’ve volunteered with VIY on two projects that are local to my school now - Hertford Cricket Club and Hertford Town Football Club. For the first project, we were asked by our teacher to participate but for the second project, at the football club, I signed up myself. I’d like to be a painter and decorator when I leave school so these projects have given me skills that will be really helpful for this. I’ve learnt new skills like painting, carpentry and demolition, which will all be useful for future jobs! I think it’s really important to help out with local community projects. I’ll definitely continue to volunteer in the future”.
VIY’s project with Sport England also aims to encourage young people across the country to get more involved in sport in their local community, through volunteering and social action. and they are looking for opportunities to
If you work for a community or grassroots club and think you could benefit from VIY’s support then you can email them at email@example.com.
Want to improve your own facilities?
If you are intending to improve your football facilities and would like to find out more about the different types of funding that are available, along with help and advice about the process of applying, we can help. Follow the link below to learn more.