Thursday, 11 April 2013
A new initiative to help young people make better use of the resources at The Hive is proving successful with dozens of youngsters getting involved in recent weeks.
A team of eight students from the University of Worcester have been appointed to work as youth mentors in the building. The aim was to help young people focus and develop their interests, needs and aspirations into purposeful activity and engagement with the resources available at The Hive and in the local community.
Since its launch in November last year, the initiative has seen a host of projects run for young people, including dance, ICT and video making, with dozens of young people getting involved and linking with partners such as the Worcester Community Trust and Worcester College of Technology.
Kate Thackeray, Lecturer in Youth and Community Studies at the University, who is leading the scheme, said: “The team are focused on the purpose being a place for young people to meet, enjoy the shared public space, and to be engaged in purposeful activity that sits within the realms of learning and the acquisition of knowledge. We are keen to promote to young people that The Hive is not a youth club but a place of learning.”
She added: “Over the months that the project has been running, the team has made some excellent progress with developing relationships with young people, delivering one-off events and establishing project work.”
The youth mentors span a range of courses at the University; four of whom are studying Youth and Community Studies. They work all day on Saturdays, as well as on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, with increased hours during school holidays.
Student Scott Riches said: “There was a culture where youths were using the building as a youth club and our role is to make them see that The Hive is a place of learning and to help them get the most out of it. We help them to discover new things, suggest activities they might want to get involved with, as well as generally going around talking to young people and trying to educate them about the purpose of the building.”
Jennifer Ebanks, another of the mentors, added: “The majority of young people that come to The Hive are very responsible and respectful. Our job is to help all young people to use the building in the correct manner and get the most from their experience. We are engaging with young people and diffusing any challenging behaviour.”
Student Julianne Cook said: “Behaviour has really improved in The Hive since the launch of the scheme and we are continuously working to make sure everyone gets the best out of this facility.”
The mentors have been collecting feedback from young people using the service, with comments including: “I like the discussions and talks we have with the mentors and they interact with the teenagers,” and “The youth movement is great! The staff are very helpful and make sure that we have a fun time.”
The mentors are also working with schools to educate their pupils about The Hive and its resources.