Toolstation has partnered with the Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) social enterprise, helping fund a construction project at Wembdon Village Hall, based in Bridgwater. The project oversaw the creation of a dedicated youth space within the Hall for local young community members to utilise for social activities and gatherings.
The project saw 31 participants, aged between 14-24 years, learn hands-on skills and get involved in the construction planning process, whilst building a communal centre they can take advantage of over the coming years. These volunteers were sourced from local schools and community groups, including Bridgwater & Taunton Construction College, The Amber Foundation –Wiltshire, The Bridge School and Robert Blake Science College.
With Toolstation’s Head Office located in Bridgwater, the project also saw 37 Toolstation colleagues from a variety of different departments join up with the VIY volunteers to support in constructing the new communal area.
Over a total of 103 days, VIY created a new youth and community space which included erecting walls, implementing storage, laying flooring, plastering, and decorating.
The VIY programme combines DIY and volunteering and challenges young people to help repair and refurbish community facilities while learning vocational trade skills on the job, helping them become more employable in the construction sector and beyond. 41 Entry Level 3 City & Guilds Accreditations were awarded in carpentry, health and safety and painting and decorating. The City & Guilds accreditations, skills training, and mentoring of the volunteers were funded by Toolstation. The initiative is helping more young people learn DIY and trade skills and to consider a career in the construction and building industry.
Greg Richardson, head of marketing at Toolstation, said: “It was great to see everybody getting involved and doing something so constructive…literally! The whole team really enjoyed the day, and we hope this project has encouraged young people to develop confidence and learn practical trades skills and earn a qualification. We’re delighted to continue our support of the incredible work performed by the VIY team to build a fantastic community space at Wembdon Village Hall, and look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.”
Tim Reading, CEO and co-Founder of VIY, added: “This project has been a great example of working with our trade partners at greater depth, with Toolstation colleagues volunteering their time down on the ground to support young people and a vital community space in their local area. It’s also a great experience for our young people to work alongside and interact with representatives from a local, prospective employer on their doorstep and the opportunities for progression that may be available to them following their time with VIY.”