NORTHAMPTON: Wickes is supporting Volunteer It Yourself, launched by charity London Youth with a £940,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The scheme will see young people aged 14 and up gain construction skills and experience by renovating 47 youth clubs across England and Wales. They will also be mentored by tradesmen from Wickes and gain qualifications from the vocational education organisation City and Guilds.

Tools and materials for the project have also been donated by Wickes and its branches will be matched with participating youth clubs across the country.

Wickes brand director Tony Holdway said: "British tradesmen have a wealth of knowledge and experience and at Wickes we are passionate about safeguarding this for the next generation of tradesmen. This project not only helps rejuvenate youth clubs in need, it also capitalises on the expertise and generosity of our country's local tradesmen who are at the core of their communities."

The national launch of VIY is built upon an initial successful pilot in South London where Streatham Youth and Community Trust club was transformed.

London Youth chief executive Rosie Ferguson said: "VIY is one of the most important and ambitious programmes we've ever been involved in at London Youth. We believe the partnership we have developed has the power to genuinely transform the experience that young people have within their clubs, to help them learn from skilled older people in a way that benefits all within their community and have a better chance of building their own career."