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Get on board with youth services in Northstowe

Last summer, bpha funded a trial in Northstowe to support The Connections Bus Project, a mobile youth club that brings in a team of youth workers to run activities and give support and advice for young people aged 11 and above.

And now they’ve been able to go one step further.

The trial, organised by a group of community development professionals including Reverend Dr Beth Cope, Pioneer Minister for Northstowe, was popular. Following it, a group of young people carried on meeting, but they had nowhere to go and sat outside in the dark and, sometimes, rain.

They wrote a letter to Beth and the group, asking if they could find a way of continuing the youth club. Together with local resident, Anita, Beth, along with volunteer residents and community development professionals, ran a series of campfires for local young people, to meet up, have some fun and tell them what youth services they’d like to have. The response was: somewhere to sit, have snacks, perhaps do homework, and spend time with their friends ‘without being kicked out’.

Northstowe Youth Hive was born: a grass roots organisation committed to bringing together young people from all genders, backgrounds, faiths, cultures, and sexualities, to have fun, develop, and make a difference. It opened at a local community space – the Pioneer Café, based at the local school. For seven weeks they had, as Beth puts it ‘a ball’, with up to 20 young people coming along, but then the café had to close as the school needed the space.

The team contacted us to see if funding was possible to bring back The Connections Bus Project. bpha has been able to support this, meaning the Project can host a weekly ‘pop up’ youth club until Easter next year!

Since the Youth Hive started, Anita has completed her Level One in Exploring Youth Work training. As part of the bpha funding, she will be able to complete Level Two.

Beth said:

One brilliant thing is that because Anita is already known by the Connections Bus Project team, when they found out she had bpha funding for her Level Two training, they immediately offered her a training placement and mentorship.

Anita said:

I was excited and nervous about engaging with the children but once a mutual rapport was built, those nerves faded, and I am now finding it interesting and rewarding. There’s so much personal gain on so many levels: I’m really happy doing it.

Beth continued:

We know the young people are thrilled too. They told us that they love meeting different people but the continuity, knowing Anita and other regular volunteers that they trust will be there, means a lot to them. We’re so happy to have the funding to continue this!

bpha Community Engagement Officer, Julie Piercey, said:

I’m so pleased that we’re able to support the Northstowe Youth Hive – particularly as the young people were so determined to keep it going. The demand has been driven by them and they’ve achieved a fun and safe space for the children who are now reaching the age where they can come along. And it wouldn’t be possible without Beth and Anita’s time and dedication, so thank you to them.

The pop up youth club runs on Thursdays, 4pm – 5.30pm in Pioneer Park.

You can out more about Northstowe Youth Hive on social media: