The Hive Youth Zone marks seven years of supporting young people

Wirral’s Youth Zone is marking its seventh birthday with a programme to capture the in-depth stories of seven young people who’ve been attending since the doors first opened. 

The Hive Youth Zone on Bright Street in Birkenhead – part of the national Onside network of youth zones – is marking its seventh anniversary by launching the storytelling initiative to help bring to life the true impact of its work since 8 April 2017, from the perspective that really matters: that of its young members. 

From its birthday on Monday, 8 April, The Hive will start preparations for a project bringing together its media, podcasting, songwriting and music crews with young writers and storytellers keen to work together to tell the stories of seven young members who say The Hive has been a part of their journey through young adulthood.  

Alex Tolond, 24, who was one of the young people who helped to develop The Hive’s facilities and brand before it opened, has attended as a member and now volunteers to support The Hive’s Junior Council, will be one of the members sharing their story.  

Alex said, “The Hive gave me so much support and so many opportunities as a young person, they were always there throughout every high and low.

“To be able to continue my Hive journey by becoming a member of the team, has allowed me to give back and support young people in the way I was supported. I used to say The Hive team saved me, but in fact, they didn’t: they empowered me to save myself.” 

Young people with Rec Area Coordinator, Bex Pollard

Hive CEO Jayne Wilson said, “The unique thing about a youth zone is their scale: the facilities and range of activities we can offer are huge because of the incredible space we have.

“But the real impact is to be found in the stories that young people themselves share with us: what they’ve learned through coming to The Hive, the skills they’ve developed, the confidence they now feel because The Hive community believed in them, empowered them and encouraged them.

“And that shows in the volunteering work that young people themselves do here in the building: our young leaders donate hundreds of hours of time to support younger members and help on session, and that’s because they believe in paying forward the experiences they’ve had here at The Hive.”    

Since 2017, The Hive has:  

  • issued more than 16,500 memberships to young people  
  • delivered more than half a million activities for young people  
  • supported young people from wards right across the Wirral  
  • been supported by more than 8,000 volunteers who’ve donated more than 30,000 hours of time to support young people 

Young members will be celebrating The Hive’s birthday at parties on junior, senior and HiveAbility inclusion sessions across this weekend. The Hive is also offering free memberships to those joining this April, starting from Monday, 8 April – using the code 7BIRTHDAYFREE!

Anyone who’d like to support young people to access The Hive’s facilities can donate to its special birthday 747 campaign Just £7 will fund a young person’s annual membership of The Hive, two session visits and a meal in The Hive cafe. Visit https://www.thehiveyouthzone.org/fundraising/donate/

Lead image: Hive CEO Jayne Wilson (second from R) with young people and Head of Youth Work, Gill Pleavin (L)

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