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Wellbeing at The Hive: creative writing with our young people

The Hive young people share thoughts

The Hive is a Catch22 service providing a free drop-in health and wellbeing service for young people aged 16-24 who are connected to Camden. In today’s blog, we hear from young people who attended The Hive’s Creative Writing group.

Wellbeing in a community-based setting

The Hive Camden at night
The Hive – Camden, London

The Hive is a one-stop shop for young people in Camden offering mental health, wellbeing, sexual health, and employment services. Young people can also attend a drop-in social hub and sign up for activities including yoga, music and cooking lessons.

What makes The Hive unique to other mental health and wellbeing services, is that young people can access professional services, including a DWP Work Coach and a Sexual Health nurse, in a community-based and relaxed setting. As a result, we often achieve sustained engagement with young people over several years, who access multiple strands of our services.

Over the last quarter, a survey completed by 59 participants said that:

  • 89% felt safer since starting to attend the service
  • 96% felt that their views and worries were taken seriously by The Hive
  • 99% would recommend the service to a friend
The Hive garden
The Hive garden

Hive voices

As part of their wellbeing service, The Hive has recently facilitated a Creative Writing group for young people to express themselves through their writing. The young people did freewriting, writing about their thoughts and experiences at The Hive.

“The Hive is a lifeline. It’s a bright light in the darkness. The staff never fail to impress with day trips and free Pret food. Their mental health support, learn to be a chef classes, vouchers for acting, and more – I’m blessed to have known this pretty little building. Although I’m 25 way too early, I’ll remember this place forever. I’ve tried to fight to stay a year, but I’ve been told I’m leaving for certain. No hard feelings; I know the rules. Regardless, I’m very grateful – eternally.”

– J (aged 24)


“Absolutely awesome! The Hive is such a cheerful place where you can do different activities every day, meeting new people and be social, go on trips – just so many great opportunities! But what I love the most is how peaceful and tranquil The Hive is. It’s a place where I just know I can go to relax.”

– A (aged 24)

Inside The Hive

“I’m worker bee number 2758. Like any other bee, I work all day pollinating flowers. It’s a tough job, but rewarding nonetheless. It’s humbling to see the fruits of my labour, as well as all my progress. It’s what makes my strong work ethic possible. It’s the place I always come back to, even though I am just like every other bee, The Hive is the place for me.”

– K (aged 19)


“I’ve been to other clubs and services for young people, and I’ve always experienced a sense of snobbery from the staff. It’s as if the young people are beneath the staff somehow. I think this is really unfair, especially when mental health is concerned. However, this isn’t the case with The Hive at all. The staff really seem to understand that young people are much more than just their struggles or woes – we are respected.”

– M (aged 23)


“The Hive provides me with a space to meet and interact with new people. This is very important to my mental wellbeing. I also really love that The Hive staff provide career advice and share job opportunities.”

– E (aged 23)