Bradford Youthbuild Trust gave grant funding of £10,000 to the POP Project, run by Hive Community Arts Centre. The POP project is free for young people aged between 16 and 25 who have mild to moderate mental health issues or barriers to education, training and employment. The aim of the sessions is to provide young people with the skills and confidence to move into further education, training and volunteering opportunities.
There are 8 blocks of creative session running throughout the year.
• The sessions include the opportunity to take part in a Level 2 Certa accredited team building unit.
• Young people who complete the programme can become volunteers to support the next intake.
Once the project has ended Hive will work with local partners to help provide progression opportunities for project participants.
One of the participants, Joanna Saunders, of the Pop Programme had this to say:
“I first heard about the POP course at Hive through a poster advertised in my local therapy centre. I was at the point in my life where I knew I needed to get out of my comfort zone which for me was in the form of a group therapy setting. I saw the POP course as an opportunity to improve my confidence and especially my confidence in and around my belief and ability to access training and employment.
The first day of the POP course I was really nervous but feeling hopeful about gaining some new skills and meeting new people. The first face I saw was the course leader, Claire. She was instantly welcoming and friendly. Immediately I felt my anxieties leave me and I knew I would be ok in this environment. There were also two volunteers and three others students so it was a small group which also helped me feel more comfortable.
The POP course was centred around team building, learning about our personal learning styles and how we would best work in a team. I had always found it hard to work in a team in the past because I never fully understood how I worked best and I feel this set me up for potential success in the future.
The course also included discovering our leadership styles. Exploring this made me question my own abilities and it lead me to believe I could reach that potential if I ever wanted that for myself in the future. Throughout the course we also got to explore our creativity which made the course tasks more fun and sociable.
Through the weeks of the course I found that my confidence was improving. I was much less nervous about speaking in front of others and I felt more comfortable around the Hive staff and students. We formed a supportive group which I couldn’t be more thankful for. The space at Hive is brilliant for providing both a cool and creative, yet safe space for people of all ages.
After a while of going to the POP course I started thinking more seriously about my professional path, as my mental health was no longer at the forefront of my mind. I started applying for volunteering opportunities, training courses and looking for full time work. I ended up doing a yoga course which taught me a lot about myself.
I also couldn’t imagine leaving Hive for good so I offered to volunteer on the course for the next upcoming groups. I am currently volunteering for Hive, MESMAC and InnChurches. I am very happy with how I am progressing professional. I rarely say no to opportunities and I have figured out I want to help people, whether that is through yoga, social work or community work. I know that I am a valuable member of the community and I wouldn’t be able to confidently say that had I not gotten involved in the POP course at Hive.”
Hive is a community arts charity in Shipley, Bradford. For the last 36 years Hive has successfully delivered arts and crafts courses, workshops and projects from their centre in Shipley and across Bradford District. They provide a non-traditional learning environment with access to areas of visuals arts and crafts.
Hive offers the opportunity to enable personal development through a combination of formal and informal supported training within a creative space.
In 2018-19 they expanded their course programme to include a range of exciting new courses for adults, families and children.