Building Britain

Earlier this year we partnered with Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) to increase the employability of young people in Barnet. VIY is a great organisation that combines volunteering and DIY – they challenge young people aged 14-24 to learn trade and building skills, on the job, by helping to renovate and repair youth centres and other community buildings.

Channel 4 presenter Guy Martin has taken up the mission of encouraging more young people to learn vocational trade and building skills as part of his new show – Guy Martin’s Big Build. He recently went out to meet and work alongside young people at VIY projects across the country, and has produced two 10-minute films about his experiences.

The first project he visits is a group of young people and VIY mentors working together on a housing development near Aylesbury, and the second is a VIY team working on the restoration of the Victorian City Pool and Turkish Baths in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In both cases, all of the project ingredients – the partners/funders, the young people/volunteers and their mentors – have been brought together by VIY, and the projects are great examples of how volunteering and working on real community-based projects can help young people acquire and develop new skills.

We thoroughly recommend watching both films here, and keep an eye out for more from Guy and his crew when they visit two more VIY projects, going live on All 4 soon.