Brew with Lew: Youth Zone supports young people during COVID-19
Youth workers from Wirral’s Hive Youth Zone are harnessing the power of the humble cuppa to connect with young people across the borough, while they stay at home during COVID-19.
Their weekly ‘Brew with Lew’ is a live video session, hosted on the Hive’s social media and run by youth worker Lewis Collins.
A cup of tea with a friend can make a world of difference to our mental wellbeing. It can be the difference between feeling isolated and anxious, or listened to, supported and cared for. Since starting the sessions, they’ve interacted with thousands online, with hundreds of comments a session as standard.
Lewis Collins, Youth Worker at The Hive Youth Zone said: “The Brew idea came as a result of having to close the Hive’s doors but it’s already proving to be a hit with our members.
“People have been waking up early and sticking the kettle on to get ready for it.
“We talk, connect, catch up and have a laugh. It’s exactly what we’d do at the Hive every day without thinking about it. But those moments are vital, especially to young people during this time.”
‘Brew with Lew’ forms just one part of the new-look programme of digital youth work the team have come up with to support the borough’s young people, dubbed #HiveAtHome, while respecting social distancing and public safety measures.
Other daily digital sessions are delivered across social media to engage with members including - live interactive games, quizzes, fitness challenges and art tutorials. In the first seven days they reached more than 22,000 online accounts.
Nikki Anderson, Head of Marketing and Communication at The Hive said: “When we closed our doors, we knew we needed to adapt quickly to support our young people.
"Thanks to our fantastic youth workers, we’ve already created new, engaging and innovative ways to continue working with the more than 3,000 young members who usually access our award-winning youth facility.”
A dedicated ‘Talk to The Hive’ email address has also been created giving young people access to support from the team. Messages are followed up with welfare calls and help is provided as needed, keeping up the mentoring relationships which were previously established at the Youth Zone, online.
Julie Webster, Director of Public Health in Wirral, said: “For Wirral’s young people, support systems are increasingly making the switch to digital platforms to adapt to the challenges that Coronavirus brings with it.
“I’m bowled over by the work the Hive have done, the support their workers have put together in such a short time and indeed the fantastic reception it has received from Wirral’s young people.
“Looking out for each other and our mental health is important always, but especially during this time.
“Ideas like Brew with Lew are a great example of how to connect with our friends, families, loved ones and support networks while we’re staying home to protect our most vulnerable. Well done to everybody involved.”
Brew with Lew is live every Saturday morning on The Hive’s social media at 10.30am.
Their website and social media channels also feature their other activities.
Connect with the Hive on social media at:
Talk to the hive at [email protected]