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Eric lends a helping hand

Posted on 16 October 2015  - 13:45

Eric Dier visited young unemployed people working on a renovation project at a community centre in Tottenham as part of the Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) project, supported by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

Eric with volunteers at the Eric Allin Community CentreEric tries his hand at painting the wallsEric has a go at tiling

VIY is designed for 18-24 year olds not in education, employment or training and combines volunteering and DIY to give young people the chance to learn new skills, gain a qualification and boost their job prospects.

The scheme has so far seen volunteers work towards transforming Eric Allin House, a derelict building on Northumberland Park estate, into a sustainable community space which can be used for vocational training activities by local volunteering groups.

Professional tradespeople from the local area provide mentoring support to volunteers so that they can get on-site work experience in areas including plumbing, tiling and decorating.

Upon completion of the project, volunteers will gain an Entry Level Qualification in Employability Skills from City and Guilds.

Below: Eric tries his hand at tiling at Eric Allin House


Whilst Eric was at the Centre, he was shown by a volunteer how to carry out DIY tasks such as painting and tiling.

Eric said: “Tiling is certainly harder than it looks!

“It’s important for us as players to get involved in the regeneration work that’s currently taking place in Tottenham.

“Initiatives like VIY are a great way for young people in the local area to try their hand at something new and pick up new skills. It’s a win-win project because the young people can gain a qualification as well as give something back to their community by renovating old spaces like this.”

Joe McGinn, VIY Programme Manager, said: “This VIY project has given local young people the opportunity to get first-hand experience in trade, a qualification to put on their CV and the knowledge that they are contributing towards a great new community space.

“It’s brilliant that Eric could come down today and show his support for our project. He made an encouraging start on the painting and tiling, but has a bit more work to do before he reaches the standards of our young volunteers."

The volunteering workshops run every Wednesday and Friday until the end of October at Eric Allin House. Volunteers who attend at least five sessions are guaranteed an interview with a local employer.

Nikki Kelly, Head of Programmes at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “Initiatives like the VIY project bring a number of benefits to our community - they enable young people to get a taste of working in industry and gain real hands-on experience which is what many employers look for in employees today. By renovating run-down spaces like Eric Allin House, these volunteers will gain valuable skills and deliver a community space for local residents to access.”

The Foundation is supporting the VIY project at Eric Allin House in partnership with the Mayor of London’s Team London,, Homes For Haringey, Haringey Council.

To take part please contact