Hi, my name is Max, I am British and I have been living at the Hive for over a year. I moved to Oxfordshire to study and then started to work for a staffing company who looks after guest relations teams, events and VIP staff for Bicester Village. My job gave me the opportunity to take part in major F1 and sport events like Silverstone as well as mega events across Europe and the Middle East. I am a very extrovert person, I love people, cooking, gaming and F1.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your lifestyle and workstyle?
I used to work crazy hours but as soon as the lockdown started my work stopped completely and I could finally catch up on sleep. I love cooking for friends and family. My sister used to be an apprentice chef and in past I work for more than 2 years as chef as well. The lockdown provided a great opportunity to enjoy time in the kitchen cooking healthy meals for my fellow Hive mates and teach them new healthy recipes.
What’s the most unexpected thing you discovered about yourself during the pandemic?
A few weeks after the beginning of the lockdown I decided I had to do something to help the local community and I started volunteering packing meals for the NHS. I joined a large team of volunteers, around 1000 people from the Bicester community, consisting of veterans, civilians and serving soldiers, all giving up their time and devoting themselves packaging vital meals for brave NHS Staff currently working within COVID-19 wards or self-isolating at home. There are approximately ten hospitals benefiting from our support including those in central London at the John Radcliffe, Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Great Ormond Street Hospitals as well as those within the wider and more local area including Oxford, Horton, Leeds and Nottingham. Since I joined the Bicester Pioneer Volunteers there has been a huge increase in the demand for packages from 330 a day to circa 1500–2000 a day. Our aim is to serve 1 million meals to the NHS staff by July 2020. I love the feeling of doing something to benefit people on the front line during the pandemic and I have to say it really helped my wellbeing too. The workload is pretty demanding, I wake up every morning at 5 AM and until 3-4 PM I am offloading the deliveries arriving in the warehouse, but the emotional reward is huge.
What have been the benefits of living in a Hive community during COVID-19? How would you describe your “Hivemates”? What difference did they make to your life during lockdown?
I will never forget these crazy times. But living in a diverse community of professional people with different lifestyles, experiences and passions have made the lockdown a much more pleasant experience compared to friends who had to self-isolate on their own. I lived in shared living spaces before but never found a strong connection with the other residents. At the Hive this is not the case, we really bond and connect, have fun together and I am really grateful for the stringent vetting process the Hive Team put in place in selecting new people to join the community. Also being in nature has never been so important as during the lockdown. The Hive offers a big outdoor area and we are often in the garden organising barbecues or exercising, socialising around the fireplace, enjoying beautiful dinners and meals together as a community.
Do you think coliving has had a positive effect on your overall health and wellbeing during lockdown? Would you recommend coliving and B-Hive Living to a friend?
When the lockdown started, I realised I needed to relax and recharge both physically and mentally and I am really grateful for the time I finally had available to think and reflect about my priorities, what I want to achieve in life and think about the direction of travel I want to take. I really treasure the more relaxed days we had available and thanks to my Hive mates the experience has been very positive. We went through it together and made the most of our time together and grew in our friendship. Coliving has definitely made a big difference to my overall health and wellbeing and I am really grateful for living in such a beautiful and stimulating environment at the Hive.