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20 Grassroots Cricket Clubs Renovated Whilst Boosting Skills For Local Young People Across Manchester

Volunteer It Yourself (VIY), a Community Interest Company (CIC) challenging young people to learn vocational construction skills whilst renovating community spaces through volunteering, has helped to renovate 20 grassroots cricket clubs over 18 months across Greater Manchester, thanks to funding from a joint regional strategy to use cricket to improve young people’s lives and create stronger, healthier communities.

  • 20 grassroots sports clubs renovated to survive and thrive across Greater Manchester
  • Over 270 local young people mentored in construction skills
  • Strategy to improve young people’s lives and create stronger, healthier communities

Inspiring Generations: A Cricket Strategy for Greater Manchester, a joint 10-Point Plan between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Lancashire Cricket Foundation and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), aims to improve young people’s lives and create stronger, healthier communities, and inspire a generation to take up the game.

Through these 20 projects, VIY have so far supported over 270 young people with free hands-on volunteering opportunities, mentored by professional tradespeople, those not in education, employment or training (NEET), or at risk of disengaging from mainstream education and/or becoming unemployed. They’ve worked in collaboration with youth organisations such as Groundwork, the Hatch programme and the Prince’s Trust, including young people with special educational needs, to help over 70% gain Entry Level 3 City & Guilds qualifications in skills such as Carpentry, Painting & Decorating and Health & Safety, whilst introducing them to local cricket facilities they may continue to use and benefit from.

Like Logan, 16 from Bolton, NEET on arrival as a volunteer at Deane & Derby Cricket Club. He desperately wants to work in construction, but hasn’t had the means to find opportunities to do so, including access to technology to begin the search. After gaining a City & Guilds accreditation in Painting & Decorating, VIY and local organisation Believe Achieve CIC helped him with free safety boots, a free SIM card including data for six months and laptop, to enable him to job search, complete his applications and begin his own career journey. He’s now studying a multi-trade course at Salford College.

VIY x LCF project - Norden Cricket Club - during (4).jpg
VIY x LCF project - Norden Cricket Club - during (3).jpg
VIY x LCF project - Norden Cricket Club - before.jpg
VIY x LCF project - Norden Cricket Club - before1.jpg

Matt Mellor, Programme Manager for VIY North, commented on the 20th club to benefit from VIY renovations: “Here at Norden Cricket Club, Rochdale, we’ve helped create a club with facilities to match their winning abilities as champions in both cricket and softball leagues with mens, womens and childrens teams. 18 local young people have all gained a City & Guilds accreditation to help improve the changing rooms, by using carpentry to create proper seating and storage for both home and away teams, and fully redecorating in club colours - creating spaces for players to be truly proud of, key to retaining people in sport.”

Other clubs to receive the VIY treatment include creating a pitchside decking area at Micklehurst Cricket Club, with the help of 14 local colleagues from Dulux Decorator Centre, a VIY National Partner headquartered in Altrincham, and a record-breaking VIY project welcoming 69 young people onto a project at Hindley Cricket Club. More on all the cricket club projects here.

In total, VIY will deliver 30 projects renovating grassroots cricket clubs in 10 priority areas across Greater Manchester over three years as part of this collaborative partnership, with four additional projects funded in partnership with Lancashire Cricket Foundation by the GMCA Community Grants Programme, with the aim to increase participation in Adult Skills.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “This is a fantastic initiative that brings so many benefits for young people and communities across Greater Manchester. Our Cricket Strategy is all about using the game to make a positive difference to young people’s lives and unite local communities through the power of the sport, and it’s great that VIY are supporting that mission with this project to renovate grassroots clubs and help young people access skills and training opportunities.”

Sandy Mitchell, Head of Heritage & Community Wellbeing at Lancashire Cricket Foundation said: “The additional project funding from the GMCA Community Grants Programme is a great example of how we can build on the success of the GMCA Inspiring Generations Strategy to make a positive difference to even more individuals and communities through cricket. To have delivered 20 VIY projects across Greater Manchester is a great achievement and I look forward to seeing another 14 projects delivered with VIY, which will help to provide a long lasting impact on both the young people they support, educate and train and the cricket clubs themselves.”

Projects are match-funded by Sport England, with materials donated by VIY’s Trade Partners including Dulux.

If you know a grassroots cricket club which you think could benefit from a VIY project, you can complete an Expression of Interest form here.  Equally, if you know or work with young people, those not in employment, education or training, or at risk of disengagement, who would benefit from these free work experience opportunities with VIY across Greater Manchester, please contact the team at outreach@teamviy.com.

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