Toolstation, one of Britain’s fastest growing suppliers of tools, accessories and building supplies, has announced its latest tie-up with the Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) Community Interest Company, helping fund the young volunteers participation in refurbishing the Southbrook Community Centre, on Hood Road in Daventry.
The final work on the project saw the young volunteers fully renovate the centre with new rooms, finishes, decoration and features, enabling the centre to reopen and offer a wide range of services, including sport and physical activity, to the local area.
Toolstation has also introduced the Northampton Saints Rugby Club charity, Northampton Saints Foundation, to the project, who have provided some of the young participants as part of their practical modules and players Tom Wood and Alex Waller joined in to help the participants with carpentry, building outdoor furniture for the cafe and kitchen space.
Inspired by the rich heritage of Northampton Saints, the Foundation inspires, supports and educates young people who are struggling within mainstream education, low in confidence and in need of direction to a positive future.
The community centre was disused for many years and after campaigning by local residents the space has been saved. The new trustees of the space include Northamptonshire Sport and the local council.
The project saw 24 volunteers, aged between 14-24 years old, the majority of whom are disengaged or excluded from mainstream education and training, help to improve the facilities.
The new community space will be used for activities including judo, gymnastics, a bike recycling project and also include a cafe and kitchen space. As part of the refurbishment the volunteers updated the main room, offices and adjoining rooms. They also helped to build outdoor furniture and decking and helped with other carpentry work.
27 City & Guilds accreditations in Painting and Decorating and Health and Safety were earned.
In total the group have spent 40 days on the project, learning new hands-on skills and gaining meaningful work experience. The City & Guilds accreditations, skills training, and mentoring of the volunteers were funded by Toolstation.
The initiative is helping more young people learn trade and employability skills and to consider a career in the construction and building industry.
The VIY programme combines DIY and volunteering and challenges young people to help repair and refurbish community facilities in their area while learning vocational trade skills on the job, helping them become more employable in the construction sector.
The refurbishment of Southbrook Community Centre is the fifth VIY project which Toolstation has helped to fund, with previous projects including the creation of an outdoor social and exercise space for Coventrians RFC and the refurbishment of a YMCA community centre in Dickerage.
Toolstation plans on funding further VIY projects throughout the year and aims to help over 100 young people gain qualifications and consider a career in the trade.
Greg Richardson, Head of Marketing at Toolstation says: “We’re delighted to continue our support of the VIY team by helping refurbish a fantastic community space in Southbrook. This project will encourage young people to develop confidence and learn practical trade and building skills and earn a qualification.”
Tim Reading, CEO and Co-Founder of VIY says: "This project has been a great example of how VIY enables young people to gain trade skills and employment outcomes whilst helping to transform a much needed community space in the local area."