Fusion Lifestyle, through a partnership with social enterprise Volunteer It Yourself (VIY), is refurbishing its local leisure centres with help from young people aged 14 to 19 years old who are mostly not in employment, education or training (NEET) or who are at risk of becoming NEET.
These participants of the VIY programme, supported by local professional tradespeople, commit hundreds of hours to painting, decorating and tiling the leisure centres, gaining valuable work experience while working towards achieving a City & Guild Entry Level 3 Employability Skills accreditation.
"We're always aiming to improve the experience for our customers and it's a bonus to be able to do that while also providing opportunities for young people to receive mentoring, learn trade and building skills, gain qualifications and improve their future employability," says Tim Mills, business development director at Fusion.
"We were first introduced to VIY about 15 months ago. From our initial meeting with Tim Reading, VIY director, we realised that this was an ambitious organisation with a great mission. The outcomes they're striving to deliver complement Fusion's charitable objectives and enable us to provide added value in the communities that we serve."
Fusion has completed projects with VIY at 12 different sites over the last six months, and Mills says many more are in the pipeline.
Around 150 young people have been involved, with 75 per cent of them successfully achieving the City & Guilds accreditation.