A sanctuary for the mind and soul.

Walking towards The Hive, you’re struck by the tranquillity, silence and beauty around you.

Striking pieces of contemporary sculpture and benches for solitude or a shared moment are dotted around. Hard to believe you’re within the grounds of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

It’s also a very quiet way to announce the warm, welcoming activity filled centre inside. There are quieter rooms to one side, but in the heart is where the space has been utilised to maximum. Depending on the needs, it’s a bunch of things to many different people.

Today for The Hive, it’s a typical busy morning. Filled with examples of the range of activities it offers. To one side Julie, an activity worker at The Hive for 11 years, is teaching someone to use email for the very first time. Later she will be facilitating a hearing voices support group (on another day it could be the self harm support group) and then running an art group designing t-shirts. Activities are focused around the needs of the patients.

Seeing people being able to relax and enjoy themselves while they are here, or seeing them being proud of the T-shirt they made, makes it really easy to enjoy working here.

Julie is known across the hospital as ‘Julie from The Hive’. She is a familiar and trusted face to many. Someone people know they can talk to. If you’re a regular, Julie will know your name, how you like your tea and what music you like to listen to.

As Julie explains ‘We try to ensure there's always a relaxed atmosphere in The Hive. Seeing people being able to relax and enjoy themselves while they are here, or seeing them being proud of the T-shirt they made, makes it really easy to enjoy working here. I see the difference The Hive makes.’

The Hive provides a relaxed environment where patients can be themselves away for the wards. It’s a place that recognises people as individuals so they can feel welcome and supported.

Julie is passionate about the hearing voices group – she wants to challenge people’s views about hearing voices, that it is okay for them to do so. She supports people to accept this as part of their reality. It makes a huge difference. ‘You can see it’, she explains ‘It helps people cope with it that little bit better.’

On average, The Hive has over 1,000 visits a month from patients.

Referral process

In-patients of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital

Service: The Hive, Edinburgh
The Hive is an activity centre and coffee bar situated in the grounds of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital (REH) that provides activities for in-patients of the REH, including Acute and Rehab Wards. The service opens Monday to Saturday with a social event every Tuesday evening. The Hive, on average has over 1000 visits a month from patients.

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