VIY combines volunteering and DIY by challenging 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.

Participants are mentored by professional tradespeople, who also volunteer their time, and can gain vocational skills accreditations as well as access to further training, work placement and apprenticeship progression opportunities beyond VIY.

VIY was launched in 2011 and, to date, almost 200 youth centres and other community buildings across England and Wales have been refurbished, involving more than 3,500 young people and 700 trade skills mentors.

VIY was established as a not-for-profit CIC in 2015 and our key partners and supporters include Wickes, City & Guilds, Nesta, The Careers & Enterprise Company and Sport England.

VIY is significant and important because it’s about:

  • Young people learning new skills and improving their employability
  • Local communities and different generations coming together to become more strongly involved in local regeneration, volunteering and social action
  • Youth clubs being secured and strengthened as hubs for postive youth engagement
  • Young people motivated to improve spaces and places that they use and benefit from
  • Young people (often disengaged from mainstream education) learning new skills whilst volunteering on projects with real relevance and community value, rather than in a conventional, formal learning environment
  • Businesses such as Wickes contributing assets other than cash to benefit communities in which they work – such as their products and materials and the skills and talents of their employees and customers
  • Mobilising and valuing tradespeople as inspirational mentors and broader role models for young people
  • Helping to address the chronic shortage of qualified tradespeople in the UK by inspiring the next generation to consider learning a trade

Activity is ongoing throughout the UK and we are always open to new potential projects as well as enquiries from people, groups and organisations wanting to get involved – contact us at or visit