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17 May 2013

Our new Build-it programme has launched in Lambeth, following a successful pilot with Channel 4's The Secret Millions. The project has taken on its first property in Tulse Hill, with the first group of young people starting building work and attending courses at Lambeth College!

This exciting new project gives young people and skilled tradespeople the opportunity to work together to renovate derelict properties and bring them back into use. 

Some of the UK’s top builders, contractors and leading London social landlords have pledged support for Build-it, which will give 1,500 young people the chance to learn key building and construction skills, working with older mentors to renovate properties.

The partners will provide a wide range of opportunities for young people, including:

  • Work placements in real construction environments
  • Specialist health and safety training
  • Mentoring from qualified trades experts
  • Access to apprenticeships

They will also be working with Build-it at a strategic level to ensure that as they refurbish and renovate properties, young people and mentors will be involved, giving the community a real stake in the regeneration of their local area.

The new partners join the existing programme partners, who are London Borough of Lambeth, Lambeth College, specialist partnership brokers Cospa and London Youth. Over £1.7m of funding for Build it has been generously provided by the Big Lottery Fund.

Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of London Youth, said:

“This is fantastic news. Young people engaged in Build-it are so keen to take the skills they are learning and use them to progress into work experience and real jobs with trusted employers. And the more properties that Build-it helps transform, the stronger the community will be.”

Tim Reading, Director of Cospa, the other founding partner of the programme said:

“Build-it is a fantastic project because it is about a mix of partners bringing different assets to bear to help make the project happen in a way that no single partner could have done working in isolation. We’re delighted to be able to announce today such an impressive group of new partners. And we’d encourage anyone who thinks they have anything to offer to get in touch as we’d love to hear from you.”

One of the first Build-it participants said:

“I live on this estate, and it’s good to get the chance to do something positive to improve it. I am enjoying working with Danny (the older mentor) as he really knows his stuff and I am learning a lot. I like the different bits to the programme – some of it is in college, and some of it is here, doing up the houses. It’s good to get a mix of experience. I am taking it step by step, and hoping it will make a difference to me, and to the estate.”

Over the next 24 months, Build-it will involve 1,500 young people and up to 40 derelict homes across Lambeth will be successfully repaired, renovated and returned to use as social housing homes.