New course in South Liverpool is creating a ‘real buzz’

Published: 25 August 2016

South Liverpool residents are buzzing about a new course that is proving to be an innovative way of tackling worklessness and isolation in the area.

Local residents have embarked on a beekeeping course this summer, delivered through a partnership between South Liverpool Homes, Blackburne House and Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which aims to enhance the employability of residents by learning new skills, increasing their health and wellbeing whilst having a positive impact on their environment.

The course is being delivered by a beekeeping expert from Blackburne House and takes place on unused land at the airport which has been transformed into an apiary that now houses 15 hives.  South Liverpool Homes has funded the essential equipment needed to deliver the course - including the hives, the bees and protective gear.

Joe Cummings, Enterprise Manager at South Liverpool Homes said: “This is a great example of partnership working at its best and we’re delighted that local residents have taken up this fantastic opportunity. The course aims to provide re-socialisation, a network of friends and additional qualifications which will help bring local residents closer to the labour market and away from welfare dependency.”

Joe added: “Due to its success, we are planning to deliver another course from September and would welcome interest from any South Liverpool residents who have an interest in bees, a passion for protecting the environment or would just like to take up a new hobby.”

Andrea Rushton, Director of Projects and Business Development at Blackburne House said: “Honey bees have experienced a worrying decline over recent years but courses like this will help to revive the local bee population.  Without bees we just wouldn’t have the food we need, so new urban beekeepers are essential to keep the population growing.

“We are extremely thankful to SLH for funding this initiative, we are engaging with more residents who are interested in this unique opportunity and to LJLA for providing the land which has enabled us to site the Speke/Garston Hives.”

Andrew Dutton, Head of Environment at Liverpool John Lennon Airport added: ”This is a great scheme from an environmental perspective whilst also helping those individuals participating to find a path back into employment. It is an ideal project for the airport to be involved in as part of our community plan to enhance our local community engagement.

“The airport has been only too happy to provide a home for 15 bee hives on land that we own, outside of the operational airfield, that would otherwise only be put to limited use.”

The course takes place one day a week over a six-week period where students get the chance to learn all about bees as well as producing their honey at the end of it.  

To find out more, call South Liverpool Homes on 0330 303 3000 or call Blackburne House on 0151 709 4356.