Personal Stories: A Hive of activity in the city centre
Pauline Fitzsimons is head of services for the social enterprise NOW
Pauline Fitzsimons is head of services for the social enterprise NOW. It has recently taken over a vacant property in Belfast city centre's Grosvenor Road across from the Fitzwillam Hotel and turned it into a vibrant, colourful space for the people it supports with barriers to employment and learning across Northern Ireland.
Pauline said: "NOW is a rapidly expanding organisation, and as a result we've been on the lookout for something special.
"We wanted a safe space in the city centre, somewhere that was accessible and in the heart of everything where young people, people with learning difficulties and volunteers can gather and do exciting things.
"We are taking back the city and ensuring that the young people we support are encouraged to take a more active role in society and that's the thinking behind setting up The Hive.
"There are hubs popping up all over the place but we have a Hive.
"Since NOW moved into the site, The Hive has lived up to its name – every day activities have been taking place for NOW's wide range of service user from its Youth, Transition and Volunteer Services.
"We recently hosted Bulgarian visitors, social entrepreneurs from the south of Ireland and a meeting of Give Inc – a local giving circle.
"That's what's so special about The Hive – it's flexible and can be used for so many different things."
See nowproject.co.uk for more details.