The Hive creates a buzz for Camden young people

A new youth base for Camden called The Hive was officially opened in Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage last week.

The Hive is a safe and welcoming place for young people aged 16 to 24, who may be caught in the gap between children’s and adults’ services. A new borough-wide health and wellbeing service for the same age group, called Axis, is based at The Hive and employs a team of young adults trained to help other young people in many areas of their life – including education, employment, housing, social care, health and wellbeing.

The Hive is also a place for young people to relax, study, meet new people and to get information about local services. There will be spaces for e-learning and personal study, as well as a social enterprise where young people can get experience to help build their CVs.

The Hive and Axis are managed by social business Catch22, in partnership with local specialist organisations, while the new base and service are funded by the NHS Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and jointly commissioned by Camden Council and the CCG.

A Young People’s Board has been helping to lead the design and delivery at every stage, including choosing The Hive as the name of the youth base. Members of the board received recognition for their efforts at a recent ‘graduation’ celebration. A new youth board is now being formed and local young people are invited to get involved to influence the shape of future services at The Hive, which welcomes all young people aged 16 to 24.

Angel, 17, a Hive user and former Young People’s Board member, said: “Now the service is up and running, I feel a difference in my quality of life. The Hive has helped me with issues, made me feel safe and less lonely.”

Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22, who officially opened The Hive on Wednesday 9 December, said: “We are proud to be managing this trailblazing new service and working in such an innovative partnership."

Councillor Georgia Gould, Camden Council’s Cabinet Member for Young People and Economic Growth, said: “This is a bold new way of working with providers and young people to create support which is responsive, accessible and designed with young people in mind. We hope Camden will pave the way for others.”

Dr Martin Abbas, lead for children on Camden CCG’s governing body, said: “We are really excited about launching this important and ground-breaking new service with Camden Council and other partners, including the inspirational Young People’s Board, to improve the health, wellbeing and opportunities of local young people.”

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