Virtual College has recently donated £5,000 to help Hive fund a combined woodworks and technology project.

Hive is a community arts charity that uses creativity to promote personal development and well-being amongst the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in the Bradford District.

The organisation has worked for 30 years to provide access to non-traditional, engaging learning environments supporting personal and social development in the community.

They firmly believe that creativity can have a positive contribution to health, well-being and community regeneration and support this by helping people to engage in education, volunteering and employment.

Their work offers access to creative classes, small informal group work, environment arts and creative facilities and equipment. One such projects is a combined technology and woodwork project which the money donated by Virtual College will be helping to fund.

Joy Hart, Manager of Hive commented that: “The main aim of our work is to build confidence, skills and promote well-being through the creative process.

“We are delighted that Virtual College are able to support the work we do, particularly with children and young people. The funding will go towards a project that will inspire interest in creativity at the early stages of young people’s development”.

Hive will deliver these practical sessions to young people enabling them to learn about programming within a context of hands on making and exploring three dimensional design. These activities will combine traditional woodworking skills and technology (Raspberry Pi) to make intelligent and programmable automatons.

Virtual College’s Health and Social Care General Manager, Abby Dacres and Marketing Executive, Jay Turner, visited Hive to learn more about the organisation and how the donation will be spent.

They visited the Birkland Room, which hosts activities such as life drawing, textile courses creative stained glass and mixed craft sessions.

The popular Pottery Room with a large modelling studio equipped with a modern kiln and a glazing area. And the Woodworks Room that has a comprehensive selection of tools and is where the funded project will be conducted.

Below is Martin Measure showing Abby Dacres how some of the equipment works.

abby rezised

The Workwork Room also hosts a number of projects involving young people and their families working together, such as the Workwords Family Learning Project that allows children to spend time with their fathers in an environment that encourages learning and interaction with positive male role models.

Hive works with the local Titus Salt School to allow pupils from disadvantages backgrounds to build a portfolio of work in line with the National Curriculum and also work in partnership with Bradford Young Offenders Team on the Justart Programme.

The Justart Programme provides structured activities for young offenders and allows them to express themselves through art to encourage personal development.

A broad mix of people are involved in all areas of Hive and the organisation places a great emphasis on inclusivity and being accepting. A part of this ethos is the outreach projects that are run across the Bradford District.

Examples of past outreach groups include the Allotment Project that improves mental health through environmental arts and the BD3 Hub at the Thornbury Centre.

The BD3 Hub was created as BD3 was recognised as a deprived area of Bradford where women weren’t very engaged in community activities. The Option and Choices sessions were mainly attended by women from a South East Asian background who were particularly interested in sewing.

Once they’d attended the sewing course the Option and Choices sessions encouraged them to access future courses and activities to learn more about training, employment and voluntary work.

The charity is run by a voluntary and user led committee with six members of staff and a creative support team that consist of experienced community artists, project workers, volunteer support workers and the volunteers themselves who play a key role.

If you’d like to find out more about Hive and volunteering opportunities visit their website here.

If you’re interested in making a donation you can do so via the website or their Just Giving page here.

Below is a video explaining more about the work Hive does.