Assembly Speaker, 21 November
The Hive Youth Centre
This week’s assembly consisted of four speakers: AJ, Gigi, Krystal and Katrina from The Hive, a health and well-being service for 16-24-year-olds in Camden.
The speakers initially started the assembly by offering services from the Hive. Krystal introduced the Hive as a “one-stop shop model service where everything is accessible in one space”.
Gigi underlined the extensive 1-to-1 mental health services that are flexible and accommodate the “broad umbrella of issues” faced during late adolescence and early adulthood. Their services are available either through referral of a Camden GP or self-referral while registered in a postcode in Camden. Gigi also discussed prospects for employment support, including 1-to-1 work on writing a CV and interview preparation, and connections to other external services such as Spear (a six-week program) and the Catch 22 apprenticeship, which offers the opportunity of a qualification at the end of the program.
AJ then explored the social aspect within The Hive, such as the social hub: a free, optional drop-in service open weekdays from 4 to 7 pm, which offers a “range of free activities”, such as clubs, workshops, the opportunity of trips and a general area open for young people to relax and socialise. Additionally, they offer donation cupboards from Pret and Sainsbury. The donation box can be directly accessed or provided discreetly by staff. AJ likewise discussed how target groups are formed, such as men, women and LGBTQIA+, to have directed discussions on topics and issues and provide chances where speakers can come and discuss matters. The youth board is also available to help run the services and provide feedback, so The Hive can continuously improve the services.
Crystal afterwards discussed The Hive’s involvement with the C card scheme, which provides free access to condoms. The Hive also gives access to free sexual health advice and services, including a designated nurse.
The second half of the talk centred around mental health, defined as emotional, psychological and social well-being. The speakers emphasised the stigma of mental health, stating that statistics show 90% of people suffering from mental health issues face stigma. The speakers highlighted how everyday scenarios can lead to stress and that all of us can face issues such as anxiety at any point in our lives. Through acted-out performances, they showed how we often mask our feelings, the importance of addressing and listening to our peers and the weight of our words when addressing people. They also highlighted how we should be mindful of our coping mechanisms, and each speaker suggested healthy ways of coping, such as going to the gym, going on walks, self-care and spending time with friends and families.
Overall, it was an informative talk about the great range of facilities available for young people in Camden and a reminder to look after our mental health sufficiently.