Volunteer it Yourself

Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) is a British community interest company which encourages and enables young people, the majority of whom are not in employment, education or training, to volunteer to help fix youth club and community centre buildings in need of essential repairs. Through doing this, they gain vocational trade and building skills and achieve a vocational qualification, which helps them progress into further training and work opportunities. Launched in 2011, VIY now works across the UK, but is focused on five main areas (South Wales, North West England, South West England, Birmingham and West Midlands, and London and the South East). It has a network of over 300 professional tradespeople who volunteer on their local projects, in addition to a team of regional lead mentors. Volunteer it Yourself has won a number of awards for its encouragement of young people to contribute to their communities and gain transferable skills.

In 2015, the Asfari Foundation funded the establishment of a VIY Hub in Birmingham, enabling 69 young people not in employment, education or training (aged 15-25) to participate in VIY projects over a 12-month period and to achieve an entry level vocational qualification. 43 of these young people remained involved in VIY for at last three months, completing multiple projects and successfully gaining City & Guilds qualifications across multiple trade skills units. In 2017 the Asfari Foundation is supporting VIY to continue its work at the Hub in Birmingham, with a further 100 young people set to volunteer with the project to continue renovation work at the Shard End Youth Centre, undertake local projects and obtain trade and employability skills qualifications. At least 20 of these participants are ultimately expected to progress directly into sustained employment and apprenticeships beyond VIY, and some will also progress to becoming peer mentors for new VIY participants. Young people are referred to the project by local youth organisations, alternative education providers, local Job Centre Plus offices and youth offending teams. Businesses such as Wickes also contribute non-cash assets (including building materials and the skills of its employees and trade customers) to further benefit the project.