A Huddersfield business that goes above and beyond to help others: Meet HIVE

As May draws to a close, we thought we’d take the opportunity to cast a light on a local company that has really stood out to us this #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth. They’ve made a particularly outstanding effort when it comes to providing support for local people. 

Mental health is an issue that affects millions of us but we’re rarely given the opportunity to speak openly about the subject. Huddersfield-based business ‘HIVE’ is aiming to break this negative stigma by encouraging others to open up about their own experiences and reach out for support when they most need it. 

The not-for-profit organisation facilitates groups such as The Women’s Centre, Unmasked Mental Health, Serendipity and Community Plus by holding events and support groups for individuals in a designated, easily accessible ‘safe space.’

Their own group, ‘HIVE Youth’, allows more vulnerable, local people to take part in community-based activities whilst volunteers help to manage all areas of the busy facility.

‘HIVE’ is a very fitting name for the community space. Things are never still for long within the John William Street location, which sees an array of people coming through its doors on a daily basis. Social groups, wellbeing/creative writing groups and the borrow a book scheme are all examples of the regular activities you can expect to find there, in addition to a cosy cafe which serves a variety of tasty drinks, sweet treats, lunches ‘made with love’ and more. 

Former chef of “The Peppercorn” Alex Vickers is the talent behind the abundance of freshly-made food. She runs the kitchen at HIVE and helps facilitate over 24 hours of employability skills training per week for adults with additional needs.

Founder and Director Gabby Hurt said: “It’s about making sure that everyone who comes through our door feels welcome. Sometimes it takes someone to recognise when things aren’t quite right and when a helping hand is needed. We’re here to provide that support.”

During the pandemic, the world saw a 25% increase in anxiety and depression cases and this enormous figure continues to have an impact even now. Without the correct opportunity for care in place, systems can easily fail and vulnerable individuals can end up at a dead end. 

It’s thanks to places such as HIVE, who’s staff dedicate so much of their own time and efforts to helping others, that Huddersfield is able to provide a positive solution which so many other UK towns and cities are missing. This demonstration of initiative and care is one that we can’t help but praise- our town would be so lost without it.

“We have a chalkboard within our facility which is filled with positive messages left by visitors. One of our visitors described us as their ‘safe space’ whilst another described us as their ‘respite from anxiety’. It means the world to us that we have that effect on people,” Gabby said.

In our eyes, the folks at HIVE perfectly capture the kind-hearted spirit and generous character that Huddersfield is all about. If you’d like to find out more about them, you can visit their page.

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