What was Guy Martin doing at the Don Valley Academy?

Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 4:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 4:15 pm

Wickes has teamed up with daredevil TV presenter, Guy Martin and social enterprise, VIY (Volunteer It Yourself) to help 20 volunteers come together at Don Valley Academy to help build a memorial garden to commemorate fellow student, Jennifer Oroszova’s late father. The aim of the project is to offer a reflective space for Jennifer and other students at the academy who are overcoming the loss of a loved one.

Recent research has revealed that 1 in 9 18-24 year old’s do not know how to change a lightbulb, however the average cost of hiring a tradesperson to perform such traditional household tasks costs an average of £83.79.

To help address the issue, Wickes and its partner, VIY are working with Guy Martin on a series of community DIY projects, which will teach young people practical skills that can be used in completing the day-to-day tasks they’re currently struggling with. The new proficiencies will also open volunteers up to a future within the trade sector.

The garden at Don Valley is the final project in the four-part All 4 Originals series, Guy Martin: Building Britain.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Guy was hands-on with the project and got involved in elements of building a seating area, installing a wooden fence around the garden and painting the metal railing along the garden staircase, while also getting to know the young volunteers he was working alongside.

Imran Younas, VIY lead mentor at the Don Valley Academy Project said: “Our volunteers have worked very hard on the project and the results shine through. The memorial garden is in great shape, offering a spacious and calming area for pupils to reflect and remember their loved ones in. The listed cobbles have also been maintained and placed, so they are still protected. We are delighted to have been part of such a wonderful initiative, which not only benefits the students but also the young volunteers who helped make it happen.”

Guy Martin added:“It was interesting seeing the young-uns learning how to do a proper job. I learnt some new skills too, never too old for learning, so it was spot on.”

Throughout the project, each volunteer has been mentored by a professional tradesperson, learning skills across a number of different crafts which will help them to find apprenticeships and provide them with job opportunities in the future.

The project forms part of a wider initiative between Wickes and VIY, which has seen 325 improvement projects take place across the country over the last year. Guy Martin: Building Britain is available to view on All4 now.