Work has gotten under way at Long Buckby RFC, who were selected as winners of the Northampton Saints clubhouse Renovation Competition. The competition invited local grassroots clubs to win the chance for their facilities to be renovated as part of the fantastic work carried out by Volunteer It Yourself (VIY), supported by Northampton Saints, Toolstation and Travis Perkins.
VIY have been joined throughout the works by Northampton Saints Foundation students, who are taking part in the foundation’s Hitz and Aspire programmes, as well as local college students on construction courses. They’ve been painting and decorating the changing rooms and adding individual changing slots at the club on Station Road, resulting in 19 Entry Level 3 City & Guilds accreditations gained by the young volunteers in painting and decorating and carpentry.
They were also joined by current saints player, James Grayson, as well as saints legend Tom Wood, both foundation ambassadors who both helped the students with some painting at the venue.
Greg Richardson, Head of Marketing at Toolstation says, “We’re really happy to have supported the VIY team and Long Buckby with the renovation of their facilities. This is a project that will help young people learn practical trade and building skills and earn a qualification. The construction sector is facing a shortage of workers and so we hope that this initiative will inspire more young people to consider entering the trades.”
Connor Fleming, Head of Northampton Saints Community says, “The clubhouse Renovation Competition is an excellent example of our partnership in action, helping to support our local clubs and communities as well as supporting activity across the grassroots level. Projects like this help make rugby more accessible for everyone, using the power of sport to positively impact a wide range of groups and individuals.
Tom adds, “It’s great to be able to do some practical activities with the young people out of the classroom, and particularly in the surroundings of a local rugby club.
“I have been lucky in that rugby has given me a great deal, so getting involved in projects like this one give me the opportunity to give something back, not just to the students, but also the wider community.”
Ed Sellwood, COO and co-Founder of VIY, says, “We’ve completed over 700 community projects since 2011, many of which have been improving grassroots sports clubs and facilities for the benefit of the local community and all helping boost the work-readiness of the young people who volunteer with us. Collaborating with cross-sector partners, from sports to construction like the saints and Toolstation, help us all do more to build better communities and help improve more young lives together.”