What is the DIY SOS Grenfell project, what are the Dale Youth Boxing Club and community space plans and can I volunteer?

THE BBC's flagship renovation programme DIY SOS is set to rebuild a community hub and boxing gym that was once located at the foot of Grenfell Tower in an upcoming episode.

Called one of the BBC renovation programme's "morally most important projects", the reconstruction will see the Dale Youth Boxing Academy and hub re-housed under the A40 Westway, just metres from the derelict tower.

What is the DIY SOS Grenfell Project?

DIY SOS: The Big Build is the BBC's flagship renovation programme which has been running for 17 years in a primetime slot on BBC One, attracting five million viewers an episode.

Fronted by Nick Knowles and a team of industry experts, the programme takes on extremely big builds for communities and people who need this kind of help.

In the past DIY SOS have built a centre for a children's charity in Peterborough in 2013, a respite centre for young carers in Blackpool in 2016 and even Princes Harry and William helped volunteers renovate an entire street in Manchester and homes for injured service veterans in 2015.

This time however, the team will undertake the Grenfell Project which will see the construction of a shared site for both the Dale Youth Boxing Academy – which was once based in the tower – and a community hub under the A40 Westway, just metres from Grenfell Tower, located on St Marks Road and known as Bay 20.

What is the Dale Youth Boxing Club?

Before the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the first floor of the tower was home to the Dale Youth Boxing Club since 1999, and was both a valued local resource and one of the best boxing clubs in the country.

The club has been credited with turning around the lives of many young people, as well as turning out Olympic gold medal winner James DeGale and current world champion George Groves and nurturing 200 Amateur Boxing Association champions since it was founded 60 years ago.

Currently based at their temporary home in a car park, the club will get a new purpose-built gym in the new build.

Speaking of the project, presenter Nick Knowles said: "It is the biggest and morally most important project we have done in a long time."

What are the plans for the community space?

Owing to the strong, close knit community spirit around Grenfell Tower, DIY SOS will build a brand new multi-use community space at Bay 20.

The space, available for a wide range of community activities, will be accessible to the whole community managed by the Westway Trust.

The hub will also have a variety of flexible spaces which will enable a wide variety of uses.

The new space for the community was welcomed by local resident Natasha Gordon, 30, who told the BBC: "It will make a difference, bring some form of peace round here."



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Can I volunteer and when does it start?

The builds undertaken by DIY SOS are possible because the construction materials, supplies and even furniture are given to the projects by companies who want to help and are also supported by labour carried out by volunteers who want to assist in the project

For the new boxing club and community site for the Grenfell community, even the architects Sarah Featherstone and Jeremy Young have volunteered their award-winning skills to work on the proposal.

The new buildings proposed for the Grenfell Project will be completely funded by donations and generous volunteers and will be "a positive legacy for the local community for many years to come," DIY SOS have said.

The programme welcomes as many local people as possible to take part, so if you're interested in volunteering email [email protected].

Planning permission for the new development was granted on March 8.

The BBC has said DIY SOS plans to have parts of the project "built inside a year."

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