Samantha Fÿn
Chief Executive Officer – the People Hive


Tell us about your business

Formed in 2018, The People Hive is our community hub, based in Twickenham. From here we provide a range of activities, training and opportunities for adults with a learning disability, to support their recreation, social integration and personal development.
Whilst we are a charity, this is not a charity shop, The People Hive provides a retail outlet for locally produced arts, crafts and gifts to provide commission income to support our charity and to develop community engagement. We currently have art works from over 160 local people on display.

Tell us a bit about yourself
This year has been an exciting one as I had a big birthday! Instead of doing the usual stuff I decided to do some challenges and new things. So, I did the three peaks with my husband, 10k tough mudder assault course, climbed the O2 (I’m scared of heights) did a pottery and an oil painting class and I still have a skydive to do with my son in the spring!

What made you start your business / career?

I am the founder of The People Hive. I wanted the charity to have a high street presence where we could positively raise the awareness of adults with a learning disability.
I have a strong desire to make a positive difference in the lives of people with learning disabilities, I am passionate and enjoy leading a team of staff and volunteers who are making a meaningful impact in the lives of others. The People Hive provides both volunteering and employment opportunities for adults with learning disabilities as well as a gallery for local artists to display and sell their art work.
We currently support over 160 artists, we sell their work on their behalf and a commission from the sales goes back into supporting the valuable work of the charity.
We also provide a large number of activities around the borough for adults with learning disabilities, including book groups, drama clubs, cookery lessons and wellbeing programmes. These all make a huge difference to the people we support and help decrease isolation and promote independence.

Current figures show that women are behind roughly one in three businesses, why do you think that number isn’t higher?

I think there are several reasons why the number of women owned businesses isn’t higher.
Work-life balance: Women are still disproportionately responsible for caregiving duties, which can make it challenging to balance the demands of running a business with family responsibilities and industry-specific challenges: Some industries may be more male-dominated, making it harder for women to break into those fields.

How important is it for women to lift each other up and which women do you feel has supported you the most to get to where you are today?

By working together, women can share their experiences, knowledge, and skills, and provide each other with the support and resources needed to succeed

The IWD theme is #EmbraceEquity. What do you think we can do to promote this thinking to the next generation?

We can educate young people about the importance of equity and its role in creating a fair and just society. This can be done through school curriculums, after-school activities, and community events.

The People Hive demonstrates equity on a daily basis with its community involvement, empathy and understanding, and the opportunities offered to all, recognising peoples abilities not their disabilities.


The People Hive, 8 Heath Road, Twickenham, TW1 4BZ