About VIY

Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) combines DIY and volunteering by challenging young people aged 14-24 to help repair and refurbish youth and community buildings and facilities, whilst learning vocational trade skills on the job. Young people are mentored by professional tradespeople, and gain Entry Level City & Guilds trade skills accreditations at the same time as developing broader employability skills. The majority of young people who take part are disengaged (or at risk of disengagement) from mainstream education and training, and/or unemployed.

Since 2011, 6,000+ young people have volunteered at 350 VIY projects UK-wide, supported by 900+ trade skills mentors. Outcomes include 70% of all participants achieving an Entry Level 3 City & Guilds skills accreditation and 30% of NEET participants aged 16+ progressing directly to a further training or employment outcome. 64% of participants also report increased confidence levels across seven key personal skills linked to employability.

VIY started in London in 2011 as a project created by social innovation company Cospa, and was subsequently established as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2015.

The Team

Tim Reading CEO & co-founder Tim has 20 years experience of creating and growing cross-sector social action projects, and a background in engineering
Ed Sellwood Operations Director & co-founder Ed has 15+ years experience of managing and delivering community and grassroots youth-engagement programmes
Ottolien van Rossem Programmes Director Ottolien worked in politics before pursuing a MBA which combined to lead her to VIY and the world of social enterprise
Joe McGinn Programme Director Joe has a variety of experience in youth work, third-sector project management and is currently a sitting magistrate
Dee Dee Whelan Programme Manager Dee Dee has extensive experience developing community projects in the UK and overseas and is a qualified physiotherapist
Tom Hague Senior Project Manager Tom is always looking to improve society's offer to young people, and has previously worked in housing and as a teacher
Atma Amin Project Manager Atma has a background in housing management, voluntary work and youth mentoring
Zoë Perrott-White Project Executive Zoë has experience in CSR and youth work, and also volunteers for the charity FoodCycle

Advisory Board Members

VIY’s senior management team is supported by an advisory board currently comprising four members, all of whom have considerable personal experience of VIY’s work and activities and, between them, cover areas of key relevance to VIY including social action, education and vocational skills, and the DIY sector/building trade.

Natalie Cramp MD Commercial & Philanthropic, Profusion Prior to joining Profusion, Natalie was COO at The Careers & Enterprise Company, a current VIY partner and supporter
Carrie Deacon Head of Social Action Innovation, Nesta Innovation foundation Nesta has been a long-term supporter of VIY's organisational growth and development
Matthew Gaunt Director of Digital, Marketing, Buying & Merchandising, Hamleys Prior to joining Hamleys in 2018, Matthew spent five years at Wickes as Head of Brand & Customer Communications
Michael Osbaldeston Senior Advisor, City & Guilds City & Guild is the world's largest skills body and has been a core VIY partner since 2012