EIGHT students from the University of Worcester have embarked on a new mentoring initiative to try to curb misbehaviour by young people at the Hive.
The students provide mentoring for young people, offering a range of activities including ICT, dance and video-making skills, with the aim of helping them focus and develop their interests, needs and aspirations, using resources available at the Hive and the wider community.
The mentoring project came about after parents said they were reluctant to use the Hive at peak periods, such as Saturdays, due to a large number of teenagers gathering in or around the centre, as highlighted by your Worcester News recently.
In a bid to stop young people disturbing others, students started working at the Hive all day on Saturdays, as well as on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, with increased hours during school holidays.
Project worker Scott Riches said: “There was a culture where youths were using the building as a youth club and our role is to make them see that the Hive is a place of learning and to help them get the most out of it.”
Dozens of young people each week have been involved with the project, launched in November last year, linking with partners such as Wor- cester Community Trust and Worcester College of Technology.
Kate Thackeray, leader of the scheme, a lecturer in youth and community studies at the university, said: “We are keen to promote to young people that the Hive is not a youth club but a place of learning.
“Over the months that the project has been running, the team has made some excellent progress with developing relationships with young people, delivering one-off events and establishing project work.”
Mentor Jennifer Ebanks said: “We are engaging with young people and diffusing any challenging behaviour.”
Student Julianne Cook said: “Behaviour has really improved in the Hive since the launch of the scheme and we will continue to make sure everybody benefits from this facility.”
Teen politician Robert Brewer said recent reports of teenagers and groups of older children driving families away from the city centre building were unfair. The 17-year-old Worcestershire Youth Cabinet member said he had encountered intimidation from older users of the university and public library.
He said: “I regularly visit the Hive and have as much right to do that as anyone.
“The majority of young people who use the Hive are well behaved.
“I accept there are some who aren’t but you get that anywhere.
“There are a lot of projects targeting youngsters there.
“I’m not surprised many people use it, it’s a great building.”