West Suffolk Hive CIC is a Community Interest Company, founded in September 2019 by Steph Holland. We have three directors, Steph, Claire and Kimberley, and eighteen trustees. The Hive hosts community events and sessions from our site in Bradfield St George, and from the town centre in Bury St Edmunds. We work collaboratively with several other organisations to broaden our reach and benefit a wide range of the community. We have created a family-centred community space in a natural environment to foster a connection with nature, improve wellbeing and share skills and knowledge.
Since March 2020 we have been the tenants at a beautiful site in Bradfield St George where we grow fruit, vegetables and herbs, run educational sessions and workshops, host events for our members and the local community and care for the land and improve the biodiversity by planting wildflowers and trees.
An important part of what we do, both at the site and within the wider community, is to encourage others to grow plants, including flowers, trees, fruit, vegetables and herbs as well as learning about composting. Volunteers and educational groups at the site are encouraged to get involved with all aspects of growing. Members of our team can run workshops covering permaculture, landscaping, composting and eco-friendly gardening.
Children are a fundamental part of The Hive as all three of our directors have young families. We are all passionate about outdoor education and nurturing a connection with nature from a young age. Many of our members are home educating families, and the site offers a space where they can learn and play together, fostering holistic development, resilience, confidence, independence, creativity and a deeper understanding and respect for the natural environment. So far we have been offering outdoor play sessions for babies and toddlers, forest school sessions for primary aged children, work experience placements for sixth form students, and various family-friendly workshops and events. As we continue to grow, we hope to be able to offer more opportunities for families and schools, both at the site and within the local area. Many of our team members are teachers and youth workers with experience in a variety of settings and with a broad range of ages.
We have been honoured to have already received so much support from a variety of funders, and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped us in our first year. We are increasing our membership steadily, working collaboratively on various eco and educational projects in Suffolk. We cannot do what we do without the help of our members, sponsors and supporters, and we have so much we would like to give to our community.
Every step of the way from our incorporation has involved the amazing generosity from members of our team. From helping to plant trees, digging a pond, building the log cabin and donating furniture, to running sessions, caring for the site, or just making cups of tea, we are grateful to everyone who has helped us. The Hive has developed into a community which continues to grow and support each other, and one that we are proud to be a part of.