A number of community spaces across Redditch and Bromsgrove are set to be given a new lease of life whilst boosting employability for young people. 

Volunteer It Yourself (VIY), a Community Interest Company (CIC) challenging young people to learn construction skills, has received more than £360,000 from the government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to renovate 12 spaces across the two towns between 2023 and 2025. 

VIY will help boost local community spaces such as grassroots sports clubs and youth and community spaces whilst providing free hands-on work experience opportunities for young people who are not in education, employment or training. 

Bromsgrove Advertiser: VIY has received more than £360,000 in grant funding VIY has received more than £360,000 in grant funding (Image: VIY)

The young people involved in the project will be mentored by professional tradespeople, have the chance to gain Entry Level 3 City and Guilds accreditations and get up to six months of career support after the project. This includes access to a CSCS card. 

CEO of VIY, Tim Reading, said: "The aims of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund mirror those of our mission here at VIY, providing valuable opportunity  to improve pride in areas like Redditch and Bromsgrove, by transforming community spaces and increasing life chances by boosting skills and employability amongst local young people volunteering on these projects." 

The funding follows the successful launch of W.I.S.E., a derelict unit with VIY transformed into a thriving space for youth outreach underneath the Kingfisher Shopping Centre in 2022, part-funded by Bromsgrove District Council and VIY Trade Partner, Toolstation. 

The first project in the new programme saw VIY, along with 10 local young people, repurpose a brand new space for Reach CIC in Redditch who provide support services such as parenting groups. 

The first project in Bromsgrove saw them redecorate Wythall Hall to help them attract local people to use and hire the space to create a financially sustainable community space. 

Bromsgrove Advertiser: The team are transforming community spaces The team are transforming community spaces (Image: VIY)

Director at Reach CIC, Rachel Ind, said: "The work that VIY has done for Reach will forever change our community centre and help us reach our full potential as a community group." 

Upcoming projects include The Meeting Rooms in Woodrow and helping create a more attractive outdoor space at Shawfield to support Bromsgrove District Housing Trust. 

The projects are match-funded by other VIY partners such as Sport England and Toolstation and are supported with materials donated by Trade Partners including Travis Perkins and Dulux. 

Leader of Redditch Borough Council, Matt Dormer, said: "This initiative goes beyond bricks and mortar. It is about providing a pathway to success for those who need it most. 

"It will bring positive change and unlock opportunities for local young people as well as inject new life into our community spaces for everyone to enjoy."

Deputy leader of Bromsgrove District Council, Sue Baxter, added: "The scheme will not only make our community spaces better but will also help young people learn important skills for work, investing in their future." 

If you have a community project you would like to nominate for a renovation and have the necessary permission for the work before March 2025 complete an EOI form with VIY here 

For young people aged 16 and over who are not in employment, education and training and would benefit from work experience opportunities with VIY contact the team at outreach@teamviy.com