Hive Inspire Project launches to divert children from exploitation and crime
NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE
A partnership initiative, named The Hive Inspire Project, between Business Hive, Humberside Police and North East Lincolnshire Council officially launched today (Wednesday 22 September) and is set to give vulnerable young people in North East Lincolnshire unique opportunities to gain employment experience and new skills from leaders in the local business community, whilst also helping to reduce crime in the area.
The idea behind the scheme is to divert young people, particularly between the ages of 16 and 25, away from criminality such as County Lines, which has been growing in the area in recent years. Organised crime groups often target children and young adults who are finding themselves in vulnerable situations, whether that be through home life, education, their health or peer pressure.
These groups promise them cash, a flash lifestyle and friendship, which can understandably seem appealing, but what they don’t show is the violence, intimidation, exploitation and difficulty to get out, which can leave young people with a criminal record, lack of job prospects or in some extreme cases, seriously in danger.
This new initiative, which was presented to business leaders at Healing Manor in Grimsby today, looks to provide positive diversion to these young people through connecting them with the business world and providing them with opportunities for 1-to-1 mentoring, work experience, sponsorship and employment.
Jo Taylor, Business Hive Manager said: “We are really passionate about our local young people and them all having opportunities to succeed. They are the future work force, so we have a responsibility as a community to do everything we can to support them.
“Our aim is to connect ‘at risk’ young people, identified by children’s services within the local authority and the police, with businesses and entrepreneurs who can provide invaluable advice, support and experience in their desired area of interest.
“Through my initial conversations with many of our members, it was clear that in some cases they had faced similar difficulties in their younger years, giving them a greater understanding of the situation these young people might be in. This will also inspire the young people to know that it’s possible to grow through hardship.
“We are really thankful to the members for showing so much interest in helping to bring this initiative to fruition, which in turn helped us to secure funding from the Home Office.
“We are piloting the scheme in North East Lincolnshire; however, we hope that it will prove successful so that we can expand into North Lincolnshire, Hull and the East Riding.”
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Booker at Humberside Police said: “There is nothing we as a police service want more than to protect vulnerable people. It’s extremely upsetting to see young people getting involved in criminality based on false promises from exploitative gangs.
“Whilst we will continue to take robust enforcement action against those central to criminality, we also recognise the importance of early intervention work with young people, which our Neighbourhood teams already do really well with local schools and community groups.
“Working with the business community to help these young people in this way is something completely new for us, but we are confident this can have a real impact on these young people’s lives, whilst also helping to disrupt criminal organisations and make our communities safer and stronger.”
Councillor Ian Lindley, portfolio holder for children, education and skills at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Many of the young people we look after or come into regular contact with do have high aspirations to go onto further education, apprenticeships or employment, but through factors that are often out of their control, they sometimes don’t feel that they can achieve these goals.
“Our role in this great initiative is to identify the young people who are most likely to benefit from this support from the businesses, and hope that through these connections, it gives them the confidence and hope that they can achieve big things.
“We are really keen for our local young people to have opportunities to succeed in their own hometown, so there is potential for this initiative to encourage that. Not only does that help to boost the local economy and reduce crime, but it also gives these youngsters a chance to build a real positive future here. It’s great to see the business community working with the council and the police to provide further local provisions and diversions for our young and vulnerable people.”