Build-it was judged ‘best in class’ in four categories – Best Combined Programme, Best Community Involvement, Best Educational Programme and Most Innovative Collaboration – and was also ultimately awarded the Grand Prix as ‘best of the best’ drawn from among all of the category winners.
Launched in Brixton in April 2013, Build-it was co-created by Cospa and London Youth. Since then they have delivered and expanded the programme across Lambeth, reaching and benefitting 1,500 young people over an initial two-year period.
Build-it works with 16-25 year olds who are disengaged from education and the labour market, enabling them to learn vocational trade and building skills on the job whilst working alongside older mentors drawn from the local community. Build-it graduates are then given access to employment and further training opportunities via Keepmoat, Mears and the other project partners.
Build-it is supported by two key corporate partners, building contractors Keepmoat and Mears, plus a number of other cross-sector organisations: The Big Lottery Fund, Lambeth Council and housing associations Lambeth Living, Metropolitan and Hyde Housing.
James Alexander, Head of Build-it, said: “The programme would not be able to provide so many different opportunities for young people without the support of our partners and these awards are great recognition of that fact. We’d also like to thank the Big Lottery Fund for backing Build-it and supporting young people to be the best they can be.”
Tim Reading, Director at Cospa, adds: “It’s tremendous to see Build-it recognised for the impact it’s having in helping young people to learn valuable new vocational skills and access employment opportunities whilst improving social housing in local communities. At the same time, I’m really pleased the awards have highlighted the collaborative, cross-sector partnership approach that underpins and drives the programme.”
Julian Sanz, Community Investment Manager at Keepmoat, adds: “This amazing initiative fits with Keepmoat’s own values of improving people’s lives and leaving a lasting legacy in the communities where we work. The strong relationship we’ve developed with Build-it through Cospa and the housing clients involved has enabled us to develop local young people’s skills which has been extremely rewarding for everyone involved.”