Russell Taylor Group has 5,000 reasons to be happy since the business decided to become a founder patron of The Hive.
For that’s the staggering number of members of the new £6m state-of the-art youth zone in Birkenhead, a centre that’s helping to put young people from Wirral on the right track to a brighter future.
Ben Russell, Group CEO of Russell Taylor Holdings Ltd, decided to support the work of The Hive after hearing of the impact it was likely to make on young lives with its employability and enterprise projects as well as its huge range of youth facilities and community initiatives. That was at the beginning of the year when the centre, which opened in April, had a target membership of 3,000.
After learning that the figure had reached the 5,000 mark in such a short space of time, Ben said: “It’s hardly surprising that young people are clamouring to join The Hive. The quality and variety of youth work going on there is amazing.
“Supporting the centre as a founder patron is one of the most exciting ventures we, as a company with national headquarters on Wirral, have ever undertaken and we’re proud that our partnership with The Hive is opening doors of opportunity to thousands of local young people.
“As a family firm, we place family values and community spirit at the heart of our operations and that's why we see ourselves helping young members to reach goals they may never have imagined possible.
“It doesn't matter where you are born or brought up – all young people need the same advantages to ensure a brighter future for themselves and to make a significant contribution to our economy.”
Kate Thomas, business development manager at The Hive, added: “It’s only with the generous support of Russell Taylor Group that we are able to deliver a world-class youth provision here in Wirral and we know from our young people - and their families - that The Hive is already having a positive impact on their lives.”
The Hive aims to bring a safe, inspiring and affordable environment to an area with almost 39,000 young people aged between 10 and 19, one which has the second highest concentration of unemployment in disadvantaged communities in England and where child poverty is significantly higher than the national average.
Facilities at The Hive are unlike any other in the area – there's a sports hall, skate park, climbing wall, boxing gym and fitness suite, arts room, recording studio, dance and drama studio plus a media room with IT equipment, film studio and radio booth and recreation area with pool, table tennis and games consoles.
The health and wellbeing of its young people are at the heart of The Hive's operations with mentoring and support, inclusion programmes for those with additional needs.
Employability and enterprise are also high on the agenda. Targeted activities will aim to increase confidence and skills while projects will be put in place to access paid work, work placements and apprenticeships.