Underfoot Solutions Complete Youth Mentoring Programme

The Bunker Community Centre on Charter Housing’s Barrackswood estate in Newport recently reopened its doors with a celebration to thank the young people and trade mentors, part of the highly successful VIY – Volunteer It Yourself project, for all their hard work in renovating the invaluable community facility. Fourteen young people, supported by Charter Housing’s Youth team and 3 tradesman mentors from Bron Afon Community Housing and the local community, renovated The Bunker which included fitting a new internal porch, integrated cupboard space, retiling the bathroom, as well as plastering the walls and repainting. A new baby changing facility for the mother and toddler’s group who use the centre has now also been provided. The aim was to create a multi use space for all the community to enjoy, and that is exactly what has been achieved!

The young people involved gained valuable skills and qualifications in carpentry, tiling, plastering and painting and decorating whilst at the same time making essential repairs to a valuable community resource. Sam Gerrard, Youth Projects Development Manager said ‘We are also very grateful to the trade mentors; Kevin Howells, Ben Quigg and Daniel Hurley of Underfoot Solutions, who volunteered their time to mentor the youngpeople. Their careful and expert nurturing has helped the young people to build their confidence, enabling them to carry out all the renovations themselves. They really were an inspiration to the young people and as a result amazing working relationships were formed. This project was made possible from the support of London Youth and their VIY – Volunteer It Yourself project, funded by TheBig Lottery. Other partners included in VIY are the City and Guilds, Cospa and Wickes.

Wickes kindly supplied all the materials that have been used. The project has enabled 7 young people to achieve a City and Guilds Basic Construction qualification. Five young people have gone on to further learning and gained their CSCS cards and one young person has achieved an apprenticeship.