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Young people gain new skills through Volunteer it Yourself projects funded by Newark and Sherwood District Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund pot

A council has awarded £60,000 of funding to help young people access new exciting opportunities through volunteer skills development projects.

Newark and Sherwood District Council awarded Volunteer it Yourself (VIY) the money from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to complete two further projects.

VIY are a community interest company that works with young people who are disengaged from mainstream education provision or currently unemployed.

VIY Volunteers at Boughton Community Hub.
VIY Volunteers at Boughton Community Hub.

Trades skills mentors support those who participate and they can gain Entry Level City and Guilds accreditations and access to further training, work-readiness and employment opportunities.

The first project to be delivered by VIY this year is in progress at the Boughton Community Hub site.

14 volunteers from across the Sherwood side of the district are on site during May, and will gain accredited trade qualifications whilst supporting the creation of a community garden and outdoor space.

The new Boughton Community Hub — which officially opened yesterday (May 18) — is a multi-purpose facility for community use and will create access to opportunities for residents.

The funding comes after VIY’s most recent successful project at the Newark Orchard School last year, which saw them create an outdoor sensory garden for students, which included a hardcore pathway, bespoke seating and child-friendly planters.

Matthew Spoors, portfolio holder for sustainable economic development, said: “It is excellent news that we can continue supporting Volunteer it Yourself through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The projects that VIY organise within the district are fantastic opportunities for young people to learn vital skills, gain experience and work towards qualifications.

"The young people volunteering to help with the community garden at the Boughton Community Hub are doing a fantastic job creating a welcoming, inviting space that residents can enjoy. It is vital that we continue to champion and support the younger generations in finding meaningful careers they will enjoy. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished garden and to the next exciting VIY project.”

Katie Booth, programme manager for the East Midlands at VIY, said: “It’s been great to see our VIY mission expand across Nottinghamshire thanks to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, boosting more vital community spaces and places, whilst helping more local young people learn trade and employability skills.”

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is providing £2.6 billion of new funding that local authorities were able to bid for and invest in their districts and boroughs by March 2025. Newark and Sherwood District Council secured £3.28million to allocate to eligible local organisations.

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