Build-it Lambeth is an inspiring new partnership programme bringing together young people and professional trade mentors – all of them volunteers – working in collaboration to help build, repair and refurbish social housing. This will include renovating empty homes to bring them back into use. The project is about enabling the learning and sharing of vocational skills, and promoting greater mutual understanding and respect, between generations in local communities.

The idea for the project was tested in a pilot project in Brixton in 2012, and was featured in the first episode of Channel 4’s documentary series, ‘The Secret Millions’, in which young people worked with architect George Clark to bring a derelict house back into use.

Build-it will give 1,500 young people the chance to learn key trade skills by helping build, repair and refurbish social housing across the borough, including the renovation of empty derelict properties to bring them back into use for social housing. Working with 400 mentors from the local community, participants will gain accredited qualifications and access to a variety of further training, work experience and progression opportunities through various housing associations and building contractors.

The project will be delivered in the London Borough of Lambeth over the next two years with a view to creating a proven model of good practice that can ultimately be shared and rolled-out with local partners in regions and boroughs across the UK.

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