Young people using Wirral’s Youth Zone this January can eat free in its cafe every time they visit – as The Hive offers thousands of hot meals to its members to start 2024.
The Hive, on Bright Street in Birkenhead, is offering every young person attending its weeknight and Sunday sessions a free hot meal from its cafe throughout January – with the chance to tuck into a range of options like crispy chicken wraps, hot toasties and paninis, jacket potatoes with a range of fillings and salad and daily specials.
Making the menu even more tempting is the fact that this month, new members can join The Hive for free for the chance to try activities across The Hive’s climbing wall, boxing gym, music and media suite, salon, art room, rooftop football pitch, sports hall and sensory area.
The Hive’s joining fee for a year is normally £5, and each subsequent visit costs 50p. Every young person coming to a session at The Hive is supported by a team of qualified youth workers with expertise across a range of issues from mental health and healthy relationship workshops to help finding work, building skills and gaining experience.
The Hive’s CEO, Jayne Wilson, said, “This time of year is so cold, dark and cash-strapped when young people are looking for things to do or when parents are looking for ways to entertain the kids – and that’s where The Hive really comes into its own.
“There are loads of Wirral families who haven’t yet heard about The Hive so we’re delighted to be able offer this chance to come and give it a try for free – and even better, to eat free every time you come this month!”
The Hive Youth Zone is one of 14 across the country, which are all part of the national OnSide Network of Youth Zones.
The recent Generation Isolation report from OnSide found that more than one in four young people had stopped taking part in activities or hobbies because of the cost of living, while 69% of young people surveyed said they were concerned about the crisis.
The eat free initiative has been made possible thanks to funding from Ajaz.org, a charity founded by Ajaz Ahmed MBE which helps children and families facing challenges by supporting charities like OnSide and its Youth Zones. Funding for the initiative has also been provided by ICG, a global alternative asset manager, providing clients with wide‐ranging capital solutions and creating value for stakeholders, shareholders and communities and by Mistral.
Nicola Brentnall, Chief Executive, Ajaz.org, said, “We know that far too many families are struggling through the cost-of-living crisis – with the winter months an even bigger challenge. Through free hot meals, we can help lift some of the load from their shoulders.”
Antje Hensel-Roth, Chief People & External Affairs Officer, ICG, said, “With the cost-of-living crisis increasing economic hardship for families, offerings like free meals have become all the more important. We are delighted to be supporting the OnSide Network with their mission of helping families throughout this crisis.”
The Hive Youth Zone offers subsidised £1 hot meals to young people all year round, but this additional support means there’ll be more than 6,000 free meals available for young people coming to sessions this winter.