The People Hive – Connecting Adults with a Learning Disability with the Community.
The high street has undergone significant changes in terms of the selection of shops and the overall retail landscape over recent years. Some key trends and factors that have influenced these changes include the rise of E-commerce, changing consumer behaviour, the emphasis on sustainability and many chain store closures.
I for one was thrilled when back in 2018 The People Hive Community Hub found its home in Twickenham High Street. Based in the heart of Twickenham the hub provides a unique range of activities training, and opportunities for adults with learning disabilities living within the Borough of Richmond and the surrounding areas that support their recreation, social integration, and personal development.
They also support local artists in their gallery where art, crafts and gifts are sold to provide commission income to support the charity and to develop community engagement.
Their vision is to expand their existing services and to create new opportunities. They intend to develop and grow their successful activity provision and work experience scheme, aiming to become a leading provider of these services in the Borough. The People Hive supports people with a learning disability to live the lives they choose by providing a gateway to employment and affordable activities.
Last month at the beginning of July, they celebrated their 5th Anniversary joining with the ‘A Taste of Twickenham’ Festival where raffles, a visit from Munira Wilson MP, choir singing with Chirpy Cheep Choir, and a clay taster session was held with one of the talented artists. Fun-filled the streets of Twickenham to see all that this delightful area has to offer and The People Hive was buzzing!
As soon as you walk through the door of The People Hive you are always greeted with a smile by the staff and volunteers as well as an eagerness to make you feel welcome and have a memorable experience. The feeling you get when you walk in is a friendly, safe, and vibrant atmosphere filled with colourful creations surrounding you. The staff know everything about all their artists and the products which is amazing because there are so many different artists in there selling all sorts with fascinating stories and concepts.
I am fortunate enough to be one of the artists at The People Hive Gallery where I sell handmade sustainable quilled cards and bookmarks as well as hand-crafted ethically sourced crystal jewellery.
There is a wide range of unique crafts on offer at the store ranging from hand-painted stones, beautiful hand-carved soaps, homemade chocolate and honey, one-off ceramic pieces, recycled hand-stitched bags, mixed medium paintings, original illustrated calendars, crochet clothes, and many more impressive items.
Workshops are also held throughout the year where you can meet the artists and learn new skills. The workshops are a great opportunity for artists to showcase their craft and share their skills making it a perfect way to connect to others in the local community. But places are limited and fill up fast so make sure to book in advance! Check out The People Hive website to keep updated on events.
There are many ways you can help this charity such as donating, becoming a member, volunteering, becoming a trustee and of course supporting local artists by purchasing something from the gallery to help fund group activities.
There have been many group day trips organised by the staff and volunteers such as visiting Kew Botanical Gardens, playing crazy golf at Hounslow Golf Park, walks in Bushy Park, meeting and interacting with animals at Hounslow Urban Farm, seeing an array of musical instruments in action at Brentford Musical Museum, cruising down the River Thames with River Thames Boat Project, exploring the gardens at Morden Hall Park, travelling on trains to London and many more exciting events. All this would not be possible without the donations made and the purchases from the shop by which all these group activities are funded.
You will find something for everyone at The People Hive whether it’s a gift for a friend or a donation to make a huge difference in someone’s life.