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COVID CUTS: Wirral Youth Zone ‘The Hive’ launch home activity packs amidst funding cut fears

COVID CUTS: Wirral Youth Zone ‘The Hive’ launch home activity packs amidst funding cut fears

Image: The Hive

Wirral's Youth Zone, 'The Hive' are providing young people with activities to keep them busy during isolation.

Families can sign up for an activity pack to be delivered, along with a timetable of online content, which includes fitness challenge videos, cooking sessions and art workshops.

The Hive will also be hosting some virtual quizzes and Zoom sessions to get involved with! Children can choose a themed activity pack for cooking, art and crafts or sport.

Image: The Hive

The team at The Hive said "We understand how difficult lockdown is for many young people across the borough so along with all of these activities we are also a safe place for you to talk to someone if you need to."

There is a severe notion of uncertainty among The Youth Zone, as Wirral council are currently considering proposals for the next financial year, including plans to reduce its annual contribution to The Hive.

The latest budget proposals would see the council’s contribution to the charity reduce by half from £400,000 to £200,000, which would have a significant impact on the activities and services The Hive can offer.

Hive Chief Executive Stuart Barnes said: “Wirral’s young people need our support now more than ever.

"By working in partnership with the council, The Hive has been able to provide a vital lifeline for young people, providing thousands with engaging and positive activities, alongside targeted projects such as mentoring, school holiday clubs and employability support.

"Access to trained and trusted youth workers at The Hive provide young people with support, guidance and a much needed someone to talk to. Our Youth Zone is often the only safe space for some of our most vulnerable young people and we’re deeply concerned about the impact the council’s cuts will have on our members and their families.

"We must work together to make sure their needs are met now, or there will be major costs to health and welfare services in the future.

"We would urge the council to work with us to find an affordable plan that will ensure our young people get the future they deserve.”

Gill Pleavin, Head of Youth Work at the charity, added: If support falls away due to lack of investment, there will be serious consequences for the health and wellbeing of all.

"Since lockdown restrictions began in March 2020, when other services closed, the team at The Hive worked tirelessly to support young people and I am very proud to say that we continued our 365 day offer of support throughout the pandemic.

"We have seen first-hand that young people have been impacted significantly by Covid, not least in terms of mental health and have recently seen a 100% increase in young people requesting or being referred for one to one mentoring.

"If the proposed cut in funding is approved, it will mean that a significant amount of our work will be at risk and that local young people and their families will be impacted directly.’’

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